Mantric- The Descent

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Extol may be on a bit of a hiatus right now (and it is unclear whether the hiatus is long term or not), but that hasn’t stopped many of its members from continuing their musical endeavors. Many of them went on to form Mantric, a band that continues the experimental metal/hardcore styles that were present on Extol’s last album. But don’t think that Mantric’s debut The Descent is merely repeating what these musicians have done before as there are plenty of interesting moments that is sure to make the album one of your new favorites.

The best way to describe the instrumentals on The Descent is as a mixture of a little metalcore/thrash, post hardcore and experimental/atmospheric metal. Mantric’s style is really hard to nail down with just a few words, as the group is constantly changing throughout the course of each and every song. No matter what heavier music style they are currently playing, there is always a layer of atmosphere and melody present that gives each track quite a bit of depth. Compared to their work in Extol, the instrumentalists in Mantric have clearly written even more complex songs than before and this will make The Descent an album where listeners can either sit back and enjoy the ride or really analyze each and every aspect.

There is some screaming from time to time, but the vocals tend to be focused on clean melodies for the majority of The Descent. This proves to be a good decision as Mantric’s lead singer has a great voice that adds to the overall atmosphere and is sure to really pull listeners in. When screaming is used, it sounds like a cross between your average metalcore and experimental metal vocalist and while it isn’t the best part of Mantric’s songs it does add an extra layer of heaviness to the band’s overall sound. By focusing on clean vocals rather than constant screaming/growling, these guys have certainly made themselves distinguishable from the other groups out there.

The Descent has plenty of breathtaking moments and is a very promising start for Mantric. Anyone who was worried that Extol’s style would disappear should breathe a sigh of relief as this new act is expanding on that sound and really taking it to new heights. It seems likely that fans of a wide variety of metal styles will be able to appreciate what Mantric has to offer, and if they continue to release albums like this they could become one of Prosthetic Records’ next big bands.

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