1.Wandering Through The Forest Of Madness
2.Excuse All The Blood 3.Burn Down Churches And Kill Your Best Friend
4.Ashes Of The Burning Land
‘Wandering Through The Forest Of Madness’ acts as an intro to this four track demo, with soft acoustic guitars being accompanied by layers of synths and sampled wind effects, all pretty standard in black metal terms, but it works well as an atmospheric intro. ‘Excuse All The Blood’ is next and how utterly horrendous this track sounds. There’s a fine line between ultra Kvlt and downright terrible and unfortunately Mantarok fall into the latter. Sloppy guitars, childish drum programming and horribly ‘croaked’ vocals do not make this an enjoyable listen at all, and certainly does not make this Kvlt black metal. It’s about as amateurish as you’re likely to hear. Even the song titles fit the childish nature and approach undertaken, as is seen with next track ‘Burn Down The Churches And Kill Your Best Friend’. The song structures make no sense, jumping awkwardly from one riff to the next; sounding out of time in places mainly due to the horrible drum programming….it’s almost embarrassing listening to this. It’s easy to understand what these guys are trying to achieve, they sadly fall a very long way from achieving their aim. ‘Ashes Of The Burning Land’ shows some improvement in the guitar riffs, the standard fast tremolo picked guitars start to show some cohesion, with slow and mournful interludes breaking up the ‘fizz’ of the black metal riffing. But that’s as good as it gets. No originality, no forethought and a definite lack of song writing ability. The production is horrendous (but probably meant to be, as the band are aiming to be lo-fi) and as mentioned earlier, the drum programming is abysmal and horribly simplistic (do not read lo-fi here). There is nothing appealing here at all. If you want morbid, lo-fi black metal then there are some great UK bands churning out a lot better than this, the likes of Iconic Destruction and Ulfarr immediately spring to mind. Every band has to start somewhere, but you can’t help feeling that Mantarock have jumped the gun slightly in releasing this demo….many more hours in the practice room needed perhaps and a crash course in programming drums because as it stands, ‘Demo 2011’ is so far off the mark, its disturbing. Maybe I’m missing the concept behind this, but you’ll have to look very deeply to ‘get’ what’s going on here…..Sorry guys!
1 out of 10