Review by Jason Guest
Back with their sophomore album, Pervertor, purveyors of filthy, vile, blackened sludge Lord Mantis have placed more emphasis on the blackened side of things and produced an album of unnerving atmospheres and devastating dissonance. The germ that was at the centre of their 2009 debut, Spawning the Nephilim, has grown and album number two is a more successful manifestation of the aesthetic goals outlined before.
If you want melody, don’t hold your breath. There’s melody in the lead work but of course, that’s more of the suitably disturbing and sinister type. Otherwise, there’s about as much melody here as there is tenderness. Subtle they are not. The band’s sound is one of war-like enormity. The guitars swarm like a mass of livid locusts, that is, locusts the size of combat aircraft bearing the kind of artillery that could lay waste to a nation of arbitrarily named terrorists. Where on their debut the juxtaposition of the jarring riffs may not have always worked, here, the guitar dynamics of Gomer and Markuszewski are more developed, their riffs more refined and they move from one to the next with more focus and unity as they are played out in a tuning so low that the saggy-stringed riffs may well make your bowels twitch uncontrollably. Check out the heaving barbarity that is ‘Levia’, a track so slow, punishing, and unyielding that the screaming guitar lines become increasingly torturous as the track’s menace evolves. The bass is pure dirt, as rabid and as biting as the guitars. Fell’s raspy, gut-tugging vocals which were present on the debut are now the domineering force here. And instead of pounding out your standard down-beat, drummer Bumgardener utilises the whole kit by bringing in the toms and cymbals to broaden and add weight to the rhythmic foundations of the tracks.
Like the artwork, the stench of rotting flesh arises from the gnarly dissonance spread across the slow-motion grind that underpins the album. If metal was an ugly contest (though I’m sure it is), Lord Mantis’ noble moniker would be augmented. The time spent in Nachtmystium, Avichi, and Von by Fell and Markuszewski has proven time well spent, but not in terms of imitation. This slab of unpleasant, stench-ridden, rotting, insalubrious, revolting and sickening blackened sludge metal is disgusting. And that’s what we like. For the perverted everywhere.
- Pervertor Of The Will
- Vile Divinity
- Ritual Killer
- At The Mouth
- The Whip And The Body