Review MANTAR ‘Pain is Forever and This Is the End’

Mantar belongs to the group of bands that fascinate since many years. It all started in 2012 in Northern Germany when Erinc and Hanno decided to make music together as Mantar. The duo released their debut album ‘Death by Burning’ via Svart Records in 2014 and initially leaned towards sludge.

However, Mantar cannot be easily pressed into existing genres and shapes. Erinc and Hanno have too much seething creativity in themselves to commit specifically to one direction. The foundation though, which is never lost sight of, can be found in extreme metal and Mantar never release easy stuff. The duo’s music is raw and untamed, yet neither the album nor the songs seem uncoordinated.

Mantar now have their new album on the way called ‘Pain is Forever and This Is the End’; their fifth longplayer to date. As on the previous albums, the new longplayer is also characterized by slight changes. The recent EP ‘Grungetown Hooligans II’, on which the band released cover versions of grunge greats, is probably not entirely without influence. A certain punk flavor can’t be denied on the new album, which gives the duo’s sound an interesting twist.

The first single ‘Hang ‘Em Low (So the Rats Can Get ‘Em)’ is a landmark. By Mantar standards, the song is very melodic and if you look at the chorus, it has sing-along potential. Due to its hooks and overall concept, the track is a great representative for Mantar in 2022.

‘Pain is Forever and This Is the End’ is a record bursting with spontaneity and not subject to any elaborate scheme. The two guys work for the moment without a long-term focus, and this is certainly part of why Mantar keep sounding fresh without reinventing themselves in the process of creating a new record.

Speaking of exceptional songs on this disc, the last track on the record must also be mentioned in this context. ‘Odysseus’ reflects the odyssey of life where arriving is sometimes a big question mark. Driven by a slower beat and Hanno’s husky voice, the song develops its own intensity and power.

Worth mentioning too is with ‘Grim Reaping’ a song that refers to the roots of rock, which is already apparent at the beginning when the guitar kicks in. Furthermore, we have ‘New Age Pagan’, a song that deals with very current topics. It’s not the fastest track on the album, but it comes with an irresistible groove and deals lyrically with people who blindly believe everything that is put in front of them without thinking about it themselves.

With their new album, Mantar have created a musical highlight of the year. ‘Pain is Forever and This Is the End’ sounds spontaneous, dynamic, and powerful. At the same time, the fragility of human existence is reflected in all the musical brutality of most, which gives the album its very own field of tension. Mantar certainly belong to the most unusual and therefore most outstanding bands of this time.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Egoisto
  2. Hang ‘Em Low (So the Rats Can Get ‘Em)
  3. Grim Reaping
  4. Orbital Pus
  5. Piss Ritual
  6. Of Frost and Decay
  7. Walking Corpse
  8. New Age Pagan
  9. Horder
  10. Odysseus

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Metal

Release Date EU: July 15th, 2022

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Photo: Matthis Van DerMeulen

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