German metal duo and recent Metal Blade Records signees, MANTAR, will unleash their scathing new full-length, Pain Is Forever And This Is The End, on July 15th today unveiling the record’s cover art, track listing, and first single!
View MANTAR‘s “Hang ‘Em Low (So The Rats Can Get ‘Em)” video here:
Founded in 2012 by guitarist/vocalist Hanno Klänhardt and drummer/vocalist Erinc Sakarya, MANTAR stands among the leading forces in extreme metal within the last ten years. Loved by fans and press alike, the band took the world by storm with their truly unique sound, leading them to the Top 10 in the official German album charts with their 2018’s The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze and sold out shows throughout Europe.
While they’ve pushed the limits on every output, Pain Is Forever And This Is The End serves as MANTAR‘s most realized release yet. “I just knew I wanted to write stronger ‘songs’ in relation to ‘songwriting’ and rely less on being an ‘extreme’ metal act that only convinces through a certain sound or general ‘heaviness,’” notes Hanno. “I invested more time on trying to write better songs, interesting structures, and catchy tunes.” The results speak volumes. This is the most diverse and interesting MANTAR album to date, taking things to the proverbial next level.
Much of the influence on Hanno’s songwriting came from the artists the band covered on 2020’s collection Grungetown Hooligans II, which featured their renditions of songs from the likes of L7, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, and The Jesus Lizard, formative bands from their respective youths. Songs feature more melody as well as a variety of guitar tones. “I tried to tweak the guitar sound more according to each individual song and its mood. We tried to steer away from ‘metal sound’ standards and more in a direction where you can hear different nuances in sound. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but we never were a part of any scene, therefore we don’t ‘owe’ a certain sound to anyone.” Hanno even sings on occasion “instead of only screaming like a maniac.“
With Hanno prolifically writing riffs at his home in Gainesville, Florida – and throwing away whole albums worth of material – and Erinc working in Germany, the record came together over several months, and proved to be a painstaking process. “Nothing came together easily for this album. Everything sucked and I hated most of the process. I wrote it and we recorded it during a very bad time, and even though Covid had not much of an impact on us of course the general fucked up mood in the world and the industry had an impact on the record. Everything was very tedious, up to a point where I literally questioned everything and we were damn close to quitting the band,” he states plainly. “I thought I just lost ‘it.’ There was no fun anymore and with every song I came up with there was a period at some point where I thought it sucked. Then I had moments where I thought it’s the best we have ever done. It was bipolar in a way. It was rough and it took a serious toll on me and Erinc that I’m still recovering from. Then again I come from the school of ‘no pain no gain,’ which obviously is bullshit and self-destructive but unfortunately that is who I am.“
After recording their instruments on different continents, Hanno and Erinc entered the studio together in Germany to record vocals and backing vocals, respectively, and decided to take a different, more daring route in terms of production: “With the previous albums I was so focused on making the band sound exactly as we would sound live. That is cool and still important but this time I wanted to make an album that is overall entertaining and not just a forty-five-minute ‘live set.’ We’ve proved countless times that we have no problems at all convincing in a live setting, so I had to gather some courage to ‘produce’ a little more, mostly in order to entertain myself as the songwriter and producer.“
In advance of the release of Pain Is Forever And This Is The End, today MANTAR unleashes first single, “Hang ‘Em Low (So The Rats Can Get ‘Em).” Elaborates Hanno on the track, “‘Hang ‘Em Low…’ is one of the catchiest and strongest tunes we ever did. We thought it deserves a cool video that portrays the key Mantar ingredients: stress, hectic and bad vibes plus a whole lot of beautiful sad Florida nature shots… We are an old school band. We can’t help it. Good old fashioned music videos still rule.“
Pain Is Forever And This Is The End will be available on CD, LP, and digital formats. Find preorders at: metalblade.com/mantar
Pain Is Forever And This Is The End Track Listing:
2. Hang ‘Em Low (So the Rats Can Get ‘Em)
3. Grim Reaping
4. Orbital Pus
5. Piss Ritual
6. Of Frost and Decay
7. Walking Corpse
8. New Age Pagan