Review Summary: Lord Mantis throw you headfirst into the mouth of madness
Lord Mantis is the embodiment of insanity in the face of unrelenting torture. There is no hope present in their work, just the realization that madness is never ending. Pervertor
, the previous Lord Mantis released, was a dark and vile blackened sludge album that excelled in making skin crawl. With Death Mask
, Charlie Fell and company greatly expand the scope, and instead of Pervertor
’s creepy by way of feeling neck deep in unfathomable filth, they create a portrait of forced insanity. The best comparison that can be made to Death Mask
is actually The Hour Of The Wolf, a psychological horror film about a man who moves to a small island where he is purposefully driven insane. Nothing is quite as it seems, and as the layers peel back there are more questions than answers.
Lord Mantis have created an album singular in design and purpose, and yet convey it with such variance, bouncing around genres. Not only is there the blackened sludge that Lord Mantis is known for, but also full on black metal, doom, and industrial. Charlie Fell takes these sounds and influences and crafts a coherent and impressive album with an immense scope. The production helps form the massive sound, where every riff and snare hit is mined for everything it is worth. The album is incredibly consistent, with very few low points, and almost every moment feeling necessary. Yes, “Coil” could probably have been left off the album, not quite hitting its mark and creating a barrier between the two best tracks on the album, “Negative Birth” and “Three Crosses”. Both of the two tracks mentioned start off slowly before exploding into fast and crushing crescendos, showing off the greatest strengths of the band.
is probably too unsettling of a listen to be embraced by the entirety of the metal community, but for listeners who can buy into the horror and grandiosity, it is a rewarding listen of the highest order. The members of Lord Mantis have proved that not only was Pervertor
not a fluke, but it also was just skimming the surface of what the band is capable of. Death Mask
is an improvement in almost every regard, tightening the screws of what they previously excelled at while also expanding their sound. Lord Mantis were the surprise band of 2012, but in 2014 they show that they are a force to be reckoned with.