Album debut: Lord Mantis – Death Mask

In my recent memorial for Oderus Urungus of Gwar, I looked at the grossness of humanity, and laughed. But the grossness I felt amused by was that of the ugly, stinky things that float on the surface of our collective subconscious — snot, shit, semen, blood.

But there are more repulsive aspects of humankind. There is guilt, and self-loathing, and sociopathy, and willful ignorance. There are dark hollows of the human heart and mind that, unlike the universal sicknesses of the physical body, are not for everyone. Those who possess them are often careful to keep them hidden. In our minds, we like to portray these spiritually disgusting individuals as villains — sweating senators in suits, grim-faced serial killers, genocidal dictators. But that’s bullshit. They’re all around you. They’ve been watching you the whole time.

Lord Mantis sounds like that: the really frightening realization that not everyone here is human, not in the way you think of it. Their new album, Death Mask, is a punishing ride that is at times equally soulful and unsettling. It sounds like black metal’s skeleton, stripped of the majority of the genre’s sillier trappings. One song after another, the music blasts over the listener like a violent wind in the desert, bathing them in grit and filth. Listen below and tell us what you think.

Death Mask comes out on April 29 via Profound Lore Records. They also have a handful of upcoming live appearances scheduled, including a record release show at Cobra Lounge in Chicago tonight. Check them out below.

— Scab Casserole

Lord Mantis live appearances:
04/25 – Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge (“Death Mask” record release show)
07/01 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar (Martyrdoom Fest)
08/23 – Tampa, FL @ Southern Darkness Fest