The new EP from Pittsburgh originals Mantic Ritual has three new songs and three covers: Heart Set Stone.
Mantic Ritual began in Pittsburgh in 2005, operating for the first couple of years as Meltdown. They play thrash in a fundamental form, observing the integrity of the past while sharpening their methods for the world of today. The full-length album Executioner came out in 2009 and things have been on the quiet side since then, recording-wise. The band split for a while, but they are back at it now. The line-up is Dan Wetmore (vocals, guitar), Jeff Potts (guitar), Ben Mottsman (bass), and Carlos Cruz (drums).
There are three new songs on the EP and three covers. Let’s start with the new ones. “Life as Usual” is a blazingly speedy attack that chargers directly at you. At times clippy, and at other times whirling, the riffs are energetic and intrusive. The lead break is deadly effective. “Crusader,” released earlier as a single, is a longer piece compared to the opening smash-and-grab track. What you get is more time for execution along a similar primary theme. The extra attention to guitar work pays off in a big way. The third original is the title track, a breathless testing of all surrounding waters. There is a lot going on with this song; they mopped every corner. The performance fulfills any thrash expectation. It’s a big ride.
The covers are “Race Against Time,” a G.B.H. tune, the Mercyful Fate standard “Black Funeral,” and Razor’s “Cross Me Fool.” That’s a punk hit, a dark metal classic, and a speed metal rager. In each case we hear an impressive run at the style and substance of the original creators, making the homage all the more poignant. I particularly liked the Mercyful Fate take. Good stuff, this record. Recommended.
Heart Set Stone is out on Friday, September 2nd through M-Theory Audio.
M-Theory Audio, https://m-theoryaudio.com/store
© Wayne Edwards