Distributor/label: Loyal Blood Records
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/mantric.band / https://mantric.bandcamp.com/
Tor Glidje – Guitars, Vocals, Percussion and Synth
Ole Sveen – Vocals, Drums, Guitars and Synth
John Mjaaland – Bass,Vocoder and Synth
Anders Salomon Lidal – Moog and Synth
1. Faith Faker
2. On The Horizon
3. Give Me Eyes
4. Arrogance vs Anxiety
5. Die Old
8. In the Shadow Of My Soul
9. Black Eyes
Mantric have moved forward from their debut full release ‘The Descent’ and EP ‘Die Old’ to produce their second full release with ‘Sin’, nine tracks of inciteful and exploratory music. The main trio that make up Mantric have been making music together for more than 20 years with previous acts Lengsel and Extol both including the make up of Tor Glidje, Ole Sveen and John Mjaland. The trio from Oslo, Norway have returned again, five years after the Descent’ to fulfil their needs of traversing through music’s great multiverse of options to produce nine songs that can go through more mood swings than a heavily pregnant woman swigging down a bottle of vodka and shooting up an extra dose of those maniacal hormones.
This triumvirate of musicians have been through several different genres and musical plains throughout their long time of working together. They have been through the quintessential Norwegian black/death metal phases with Lengsel and from there started channelling their more progressive leanings which then transferred to Extol, but once Extol became no more in 2007, the trio formed Mantric and have continued to further their progressive expeditions. The band have took to expanding into a slightly more alternative realm but through ‘Sin’ they also show an inextinguishable desire to switch back to their more metal laden roots. I wouldn’t say that this is an album focused on being heavy but there is a lot of aggression exhibited through some of the tracks. It’s all about a journey through contrasting emotions, a transition from calm to fury and in some cases a return to a feel of serenity. There are many elements going on throughout this album which opens with ‘Faith Faker’ a hazy marching anthem which flows very smoothly before some screeching vocals disrupt and shift the song into a more darker feel. The song allys a mixture of softer vocals and guitar parts that can quickly transgress into heavier bouts which is a prevalent theme throughout the album as a whole. Some of the tracks exhibit more anger than others and the second track ‘On The Horizon’ demonstrates the band’s ability to use aggression to express their subject matter.
‘Sin’ provides many effective means to traverse the emotional plains, disillusionment and broader inner turmoil that the album is based around. Not all of the subject matter requires a strong, forceful backdrop of battered instruments but more a deeper expression with harrowingly soft, whisper like vocals as illustrated in ‘Give Me Eyes’. Songs like ‘Die Old’ change the landscape of the album as a more upbeat, up-tempo track which flows into ‘Maranatha’ a fine example of a dark progressive body of guitar parts aligned with harsher vocals which serves to rid the latter stages of the album to have anything close to up-beat content.
‘Anhedoniac’ backs up this quite depressingly but the music is designed to run parallel with the tone of the song and the themes behind it. The penultimate track ‘in The Shadow Of My Soul’ is based around more progressive guitar parts but the song ebbs and flows as has many tracks throughout this album. The remaining songs do exhibit more hostile and deflective tendencies as the album finishes off with ‘Black Eyes’ which for a brief moment at the beginning lulls you in with a extremely short spell of tranquil synths which is then obliterated by some heavy and potent riffing coupled with frantic drumming. ‘Black Eyes’ is a highly energetic end to an album which may just take the golden biscuit for being the heaviest track of the album.
‘Sin’ proves itself to be a tumultuous collection of varying forces that has been brought together and refined into an expressive piece of music that, can at times captivate but also suck the listener into the grim reality that Mantric have created. The trio who have spent so much time together cultivating their styles and progressing their abilities have possibly led there whole careers up to this album. It may take a few listens to truly get into the mindset of the band and appreciate the album to the degree that it requires but there is a lot of positives that sell the album. There is a deep energy that flows throughout this album which at times may not appeal to those that are coined as being “high on life” but more to appeal to those who are the isolated ones, the people who can’t get a grip on the forced doctrine, or plainly those who tend to experience those visceral emotions that wholly submerge the conscious state. Mantric have endeavoured to define this album as such and they have succeeded in perpetuating the contrasting array of emotions through the instruments that they play. ‘Sin’ can be the album that speaks for the feelings of those in the latter part of the tensies (truly cannot stand this abhorrently chosen name of timespan). There’s conflict, darkness, confusion and hysterics among many other actions and sensitivities throughout the album which may just be the album that speaks volumes to your inner self.