Mantah – Evoke

Mantah - Evoke


Mantah is a Belgian Modern/Nu-Metal band that brings the 90s influences forward, using modern recording techniques and philosophies to bear. Veterans of various bands, the five members each have their own experiences recording, writing, and touring throughout Europe, making this a collection of seasoned musicians who want nothing more than to bring their collective vision to life. Adding elements of electronic and hip-hop music, they bring newer sounds into the mix and give a killer twist to the textures of the individual songs.

https://www.mantahband.com/

Band Members:

  • Sven Herssens – Vocals
  • Bart Vandeportaele – Guitars
  • Dennis Wyffels – Guitars
  • Bert Nauwynck – Bass
  • Lothar Ryheul – Drums

Tracklist:

  1. Drown
  2. Game Over
  3. The Enemy
  4. Abstain
  5. Dead Inside
  6. Breaking Away
  7. In Vain
  8. Unawake
  9. Am I

The album begins with “Drown,” a song that fades in before the main riff hits. Then, there is a kind of short interlude that leads to the first verse. The fade-in reminds me of Linkin Park a bit, but the rest of the song is closer to Korn, so it appears Mantah is influenced by the range of nu-metal, not just one or two bands. Oddly enough, for the vocals, I do get some Jonathan Davis, but I hear Chad Grey and Corey Taylor influences as well. I hear those references in the tones, but also the cadence of the vocal delivery.

“Game Over” comes next. It is definitely a modern take on nu-metal. There is a lot of flair to this track, which seems odd to say since it is definitely a heavy track. The guitars dropping out and the keys running the show for short phrases bring the melodic element to the music. Still, the lyrics, delivered with lots of grit, contrast the melodic elements beautifully.

Moving down to “Abstain,” we get the track that opens more like a nu-metal ballad, which almost seems like something that should not exist, but here it does. The subdued musical sections, coupled with the almost plaintive vocals, bring a gentler tone and stir different emotions. The more emotive areas make the heavy passages pop, making them sound much more powerful by being surrounded by gentler tones.

“Dead Inside” goes straight for the jugular without teasing you with anything melodic. Again, we get the melodic stylings, wrapped in modern nu-metal tones, that create a certain internal tension to the track. The breakdown is tasty, pounding the ears with an over-the-top heaviness before dropping back into the central groove. These songs are well thought out and executed, never sounding choppy or disoriented.

Jumping to “In Vain,” we get another slow burner that opens with what sounds like programmed drums with discordant guitar tones. It takes more than half the song for a riff to actually materialize. The vocals are a prominent instrument during that time. Sven exercises most of his range for this song, going lower into his register and flexing the grit later in the song, even coming reasonably close to belting on a few notes. The layered vocals before the final rise in volume that continues through the song’s end work very well here. There is a lot to this song, and it works on every level it hits.

The final track on this disc is “Am I,” another slower starting song that builds to the main riff faster but still takes the time needed to not feel rushed. Again, the song hits some powerful notes, drops to something muted and almost eerie, and climbs back up. Their shifts are well executed, flowing from one phase to another without ever feeling forced.

Mantah crafts excellent songs. They write and perform coherent, cohesive music that has poignant lyrics. Covering topics from questioning your worth to feelings of failure and the need to get away and move away from the toxicity of negative people. These are relatable songs, giving the listener something that will stick in their mind and help them realize they aren’t alone in the world. People are facing the same struggles, and some put those feelings to music, which allows the disenfranchised to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. This is how and why metal fans revere their favorite groups so much, the unity and connection.

MZ Ratings:

  • Musicianship
    • Guitars – 8
    • Rhythms – 8
    • Vocals – 8
  • Songwriting – 9
  • Production – 8
  • Overall – 8.20