Lord Mantis - NTW (EP)
New Density
Sludge, Black Metal
4 songs (23:19)
Release year: 2016
New Density
Reviewed by Goat

Misfortune seems to follow Chicago sludgemeisters Lord Mantis around, from the loss of vocalist Charlie Fell in 2014 as he left to join Cobalt, to the near complete split in 2016 as bassist and guitarist left, partially replaced by members of (arguably the better band) Indian, and shortly after the release of this EP, the suicide of drummer Bill Bumgardner. It’s a real tragedy, as NTW (standing for ‘Nice Teeth Whore’) is possibly the best material I’ve heard from the band to date, incorporating the black metal influences in well and featuring better vocals from Dylan O’Toole than Fell’s slightly distracting yelp. Opener SIG Safer is a low, fast blackened rumble, O’Toole’s tortured screech forming a demented incantation before the music shifts towards a more Cobalt-y territory (the similarity between the two bands of late won’t help either, in my view, but there’s no denying how effective they each are at this sort of disturbing sludge).

The dark atmosphere grows on the following title track, vocal gasps and yelps and some subtle electronic effects giving the sludgy rumble something of a soundscape feel, sheer ambience at moments being allayed by some lead guitar that sounds like it’s coming out of the void. Semblances ups the tempo a little and returns to song territory, the black metal elements all but drowned in the encompassing sludge that overtakes it. The closing Final Division is probably the best track present, slowest and doomiest and most willing to wallow in the miserable, hateful atmosphere that both Lord Mantis and Indian have done before well. It even manages a sort of creepy melody in its closing moments, that hint of sunlight in the otherwise all-encompassing grey gloom that makes the best doom so good. A good little EP from a band touching greatness, here’s hoping 2017 is much kinder to them.

Killing Songs :
SIG Safer, Final Division
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Lord Mantis that we have reviewed:
Lord Mantis - Death Mask reviewed by Neill and quoted 87 / 100
Lord Mantis - Pervertor reviewed by Charles and quoted 80 / 100
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