Lord Mantis - Death Mask review




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Reviewer:
7.8

44 users:
7.45
Band: Lord Mantis
Album: Death Mask
Release date: April 2014


01. Body Choke
02. Death Mask
03. Possession Prayers
04. You Will Gag For The Fix
05. Negative Birth
06. Coil
07. My Three Crosses


How does a band top a masterpiece, exactly? Within metal, history has shown us with albums like Human and Hammerheart that it's typically done by changing their sound to something different, but still potent and effective. While this may sound like a bunch of theoretical bullshit, in the case of Lord Mantis, this rule is proving true yet again with Death Mask, an album that may not live up to its landmark predecessor, but perhaps doesn't have to.

Lord Mantis' third album can alternatively be seen as both a regression and an evolution, depending upon the expectations one goes into it with. In regards to Pervertor, Death Mask is a lot less filthy and relentless: the production comes across as a little less murky, and the bludgeoning speed of the previous album is present in a much smaller dosage. While this may come across as a disappointment, Lord Mantis have traded these techniques in for an all around "thicker," heavier sound, and a songwriting that seems to be more structured and compact. Opener "Body Choke," for example, retains nearly all of the band's trademark elements, yet takes a much more doom-like approach, with a more moderate tempo that makes the music come across as catchier, and in some ways easier to get hooked into. It's not a bad move by any means, and thankfully the band have also retained some of the chant-like repetition in their lyrics (a la "The Whip And The Body"), particularly the repeated "Blood rush is chilling!" (or something like that) line on "Possession Prayer."

In essence, where Pervertor finely balanced out the sludge and black metal elements of the band, Death Mask appears to be more focused on the sludge than the black, at least as far as musical delivery is concerned. Some exceptions and increases in tempo do appear, such as on the delightfully nasty "Negative Birth," and towards the end of the closing track, but the overall lack of such a type of delivery on the album in general makes it feel a bit underdeveloped when it actually does rear its ugly head. The saying typically goes that a band's third album is the "make it or break it point," and Death Mask puts Lord Mantis in a bit of an odd position going forward, because it honestly does a bit of both.

Regardless of all the love fans have over their previous album, however, it should be noted that Lord Mantis were coming off a landmark blackened sludge album with this release, so the fact that they had an almost impossibly high standard to duplicate should be taken into consideration when listening to it. Death Mask is one of those "follow ups to a masterpiece" sort of albums, that will be likely to only disappointment listeners who go into it with the expectations created from the band's preceding album. Is it Pervertor, Vol. 2? Not in the slightest. But, for the sake of maintaining artistic dignity and evolution of sound, does it really need to be? This reviewer thinks not.

Highlights: "Body Choke," "Possession Prayer," "Three Crosses"

Take your vitamins, children.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 22.05.2014 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 43   Visited by: 272 users
26.05.2014 - 03:47
Lit.
Account deleted
Is Cradle of Filth even black metal anymore?
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26.05.2014 - 17:31
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by deadone on 26.05.2014 at 03:38

As such I will summon the mighty forces of Cradle of Filth and post-Stormblåst Dimmu Borgir to be my champions.

"Mighty"
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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26.05.2014 - 18:11
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
On topic: will be seeing Lord Mantis at this first annual Southern Darkness Fest in Tampa in August (Bongripper, ASOL, Magrudergrind, Sannhet, and Pelican are also on the lineup). Yall can expect a fully elaborative article for that one
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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27.05.2014 - 02:03
mz
Written by Guest on 26.05.2014 at 02:38

Black metal and sludge: cheese and pickle of metal. Rarely are two subgenres better suited to each other.

I wonder what would be the othe sub-genres in this regard.
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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27.05.2014 - 10:22
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by mz on 27.05.2014 at 02:03


I wonder what would be the othe sub-genres in this regard.



black and doom, death and doom, black and death, black and thrash, death and thrash... quite a few acxtually
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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27.05.2014 - 13:07
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Indeed, you can combine pretty anything if you try hard enough
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27.05.2014 - 13:47
mz
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.05.2014 at 10:22


black and doom, death and doom, black and death, black and thrash, death and thrash... quite a few acxtually

Lets put it this way: if black metal and sludge are cheese and pickle of metal, what would for example death be?
Shouldnt cheese be saved for power metal, for instance?
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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27.05.2014 - 13:47
mz
Written by Guest on 27.05.2014 at 13:07

Indeed, you can combine pretty anything if you try hard enough

unless you want to combine progressive metal and drones ;p
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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27.05.2014 - 13:50
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by mz on 27.05.2014 at 13:47

unless you want to combine progressive metal and drones ;p

What about this? Not far off it if you ask me
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27.05.2014 - 15:50
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Guest on 27.05.2014 at 13:50

What about this?

2001 reference with album cover?
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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27.05.2014 - 16:40
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Apothecary on 27.05.2014 at 15:50

2001 reference with album cover?

Yep, and the band name. The object itself being called the Monolith.
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27.05.2014 - 19:07
mz
Written by Guest on 27.05.2014 at 13:50

What about this? Not far off it if you ask me

No solos, no odd timing...
But I can vaguely see what you mean.
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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28.05.2014 - 03:03
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Actually I was referring to the deliciousness of cheese and pickle, that black and sludge go together so incredibly well. I wasn't making any allusions to its "popularity" That would imply that pickle is a frequently used accompaniment in sandwiches. Which it clearly isn't. That would be a dumb analogy to make anyway as food is infinitely more region specific than metal music. I'm fairly sure blackened sludge music has reached places that cheese and pickle sandwiches have seldom set proverbial foot.
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