CD review MANTAR ‘The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze’

(9/10) A duo in metal is something that for sure doesn’t belong to the usual line-ups. Mantar, hailing from Bremen, Germany, is such an exception from standard. Hanno Klaenhardt (v/g) and Erinc Sakarya (d/v) founded the band five years ago and what the duo achieve in such a short period of time is rather impressive.

The duo premiered with the ‘Death By Burning’ album from 2014 via Svart Records. After having inked a contract with German Nuclear Blast label, the sophomore record, entitled ‘Ode to Flame’, found its way to the record shops in 2016 and it’s the new longplayer ‘The Art of Setting Ablaze’ that becomes a decisive one.

Mantar worked hard for what they have achieved up till now and it’s the longtime friendship between the two musicians that acts as one stabile pillar for the band. With the new longplayer, Mantar decided for boiling down there music. The sound that does without bass, became even sharper and more spot-on. The duo reduced their music to the essence of what punk, black- and dark metal offers and it’s an increase in intensity fans get back. ‘The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze’ is brutal and chaos, even though structured chaos.

The twelve songs comprising tracklist offers music that is more than solely songs that all together lead to an album. Each of the tracks is a brick of a might monument called ‘The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze’. Again it’s amazing what kind of dense sound this duo delivers.

‘Seek & Forget’, a song unveiled already a few weeks prior to the album release, is a well-done choice since it represents the music of ‘The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze’ in a good way. Merciless guitars and a heavy pounding beat reflects the anarchic vibe of punk and the aggressiveness of metal. This combination leads to a raunchy metal’n’roll vibe that reveals the entire width of Mantar’s fascinating music.

Actually I can recommend each of the twelve tracks on the album, but it’s the anarchic and raw ‘Obey the Obscene’ I want to mention in specific. This tune is a sonic wrecking ball and offers some exciting twists. Another moment of gloomy delight is the slower paced ‘The Formation of Night’. Heavily pounding, the song unveils a dark fascination and it’s the calmer section towards the end that comes unexpected and perfectly breaks the pattern. It adds intensity to the entire track. Last but not least it’s the closer that spreads an evil spirit to end 48 minutes of blackened metal. Mantar adds a very oppressive vibe to the closer with Klaenhardt spitting out vocals in a perfect fashion. Wow. 

’Ode to the Flame’ was already a groundbreaking album and it’s ‘The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze’ that shifts things even further towards excellence. Gloomy extreme metal can’t sound much better than what Mantar offers with their third strike. It’s the most mature record of the guys from Bremen, an album that stretches the limits of metal.





  1. The Knowing
  2. Age of the Absurd
  3. Seek + Forget
  4. Taurus
  5. Midgard Serpent (Seasons of Failure)
  6. Dynasty of Nails
  7. Eternal Return
  8. Obey the Obscene
  9. Anti Eternia
  10. The Formation of Night
  11. Teeth of the Sea
  12. The Funeral


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: August 24th, 2018


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