Mantar: Death By Burning

Devastating Deutsch duo swap the bass for a mace

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It’s safe to say few surprises await the music-lover any more. Sure, Person X may blastbeat astronomically fast or gurgle beyond the brown note, but you can bet Person Y will have their YouTube retort up by week’s end. You’ll be shocked, however, to discover a) Mantar’s unholy racket and b) that it was created by a duo.

This Teutonic twosome draw inspiration from Melvins’ rocking moments, Amphetamine Reptile Records’ irascibility and new(er) school Venom-worshippers like High On Fire.

There’s no bass to be had, so guitarist/co-vocalist Hanno must’ve sold his soul to the amplifier gods as well as whoever schooled him on the effectiveness of the little trills and tasty grace/ghost notes he peppers his cloven-hoofed stomp riffs with. Astral Kannibal and Spit swing gritty and gracefully, Into The Golden Abyss thrashes recklessly, The Berserker’s Path crushes with eerie darkness and the entire album is as infectious as workplace influenza.

Possibly the best debut you’ll hear all year.