By Earthdog

One look at the sick album art from Lord Mantis is enough to unnerve the most twisted of human-beings but that is still light-weight compared to the sick and perverted (no pun intended) musical extremities that exist within the grooves on 'Pervertor.' To be fair right off the bat, there is nothing new about this nor is it anything too shocking. Bands like Coffinworm have been doing this kind of thing for a while now but so has Lord Mantis. The band started out in 2008 with a demo that was quickly followed by their début full length 'Spawning the Nephilim.'

That album was sick but this newbie is an even darker trip into the world of hate, perversion, filth and torture. You might not know this band but you may know the bassist/vocalist who is in fact the drummer for Nachtmystium so that might give a clue as to what this band is all about. They are called blackened sludge by most people and that is a fair enough description but in my opinion, there is so much more to this band. While the sludge element is certainly there, you can also hear everything from black metal to N.W.O.B.H.M within these hellish grooves.

The "'Spawning the Nephilim" album failed as it was an undefined album that still sounded great but lacked direction. This album has the same "put a bunch of styles into a blender" approach but this time everything flows and nothing sounds out-of-place. The other big difference is this new album is darker and more on the sludge side of metal.

One of the keys to this menacing racket is the voice of Charlie Fell which is basically a sickening rasp. Lyrically it is all about the glorification of murder, rape; even pedophilia if I am not mistaken so the concepts are perverse and frankly a bit over-the-top. Musically, most of this album is a blending of industrial dirge, black metal, mid-tempo sludge metal and half-time black metal with the odd detours like the N.W.O.B.H.M element I mentioned before. However this is sickening heavy and so down-tuned, the strings must be hanging around their knee-caps. The most accomplished musician in the band seems to be the drummer who puts on a stunning performance but I can't take much away from the rest of the band either because there is some excellent passages of metal on display here.

Highlights include the opener, 'Perverter of the Will' that pummels the eardrums for over 6 exhilarating minutes. Imagine a more grooved-up Celtic Frost clashing with a doomed out version of Godflesh and you will be halfway to understanding the sound of this track. The next big highpoint comes a couple of minutes into 'Vile Divinity' where they unleash a monolithic, catchy groove and that doesn't let up till 4 minutes later. The 9 minutes of 'Ritual Killer' is so crushing that it is a challenge to get through even for the most extreme of metal fans. The problem is they repeat the same crushing riff over and over again and then some and as great as it is, it does get a bit tiresome. They repeat that formula again for the 8 minutes of ' The Whip and the Body' that closes the album and apart from some fast drum beats that give the tracks some variation, these tracks don't offer much in terms of variety. The band doesn't seem too interested in creating atmosphere either...rather it is just 46 minutes of riffs and aggression.

There is a lot to like about 'Pervertor' but I can't help but wonder if it is all just a bit too cartoonish and clichéd in the blood, guts and gore department. Nothing really shocks anymore so you have to wonder if this kind of sick-metal approach is getting a bit cheesy. Luckily they have killer riffs (although repeated to death most of the time) and they are great musicians but where they can go from here is debatable. There are really only so many times you can repeat this formula before it becomes very stale. For now though, this is something you have to hear - you might not like it but you have to hear it regardless. Lord Mantis are sick puppies but I like them....7.5/10.