Mantra - With Bound Fists

Having been amazed by their performance on the Scuzz stage at Bloodstock, thought it was about time I reviewed their CD.

  1. Choke. Chunky opening riff powers the song along in a classic rock meets stoner way. The guitar solo is superb, underpinned solidly by the drums and bass. Great choice for an opening track.
  2. Drowning Slow. Another cracking riff. Great dynamics throughout, the pauses are very effective (especially live). Chugs along forcefully and contains another quality solo.
  3. Judas. By now it has become evident that this band can really write a riff! The complexity of this track is made to sound very simple; listen to the drum and bass patterns and be astonished. Equally astonishing is that they can reproduce this live as a three piece band. The bass driven pre-chorus works well and the vocals have a great tone.
  4. Way Of Life. Choppier guitar intro to this one. Kick drumming is used sparingly but is very effective. Musically it's sound, this track is good but not quite as strong as the tracks that precede it.
  5. River Of Blood. Another cracking lead off riff. More of the same, sounds familiar yet fresh at the same time.
  6. You Are The One. Opens with a very heavy and powerful doom section which leads into one of their trademark power riffs. The overall sound is a bit thin during the solo.

Overall thoughts? The production is crisp and showcases what a talent they possess. It's well played throughout and the clean vocals make a pleasant change. They use the tried and trusted ABACAB formula for their songs yet they are never dull. This is no frills old school rock given a modern twist, and it works phenomenally well. The new album is due soon - I have a feeling it will do well. Mantra remain one of my tips to break through in 2009, on the strength of this CD it's only a matter of time before they are huge.



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