Manthra Dei

Manthra Dei

Written by: BV on 05/11/2013 19:11:22

Manthra Dei is a psychedelia infused stoner-rock band from Brescia, Italy. Specializing in excessively long tracks, their sound is rooted in a style popularized by acts like Colour Haze, Sleep and others like them. This four-piece seemingly thrives on delivering those pieces of music that, in an ideal world, can evolve throughout the totality of the runtime – whilst reaching multiple climaxes in the process. But how do they actually fare, when given repeated listens?

Well, opening track “Stone Face” comes off as mildly intriguing within the first few minutes as the melodic figures of the guitar seem to be progressing whilst also providing a contrast to the steadiness of the rhythm section. However, as the organ comes in as a dominating factor near the five-minute mark of the track, I am already (or rather, once again) feeling relatively fed up with the track. Don’t get me wrong, the organ is quite riveting. It is the late entry of it that disturbs me. In essence, “Stone Face” seems like an instrumental that could be really powerful if it weren’t for the fact that it goes on for far, far too long – thus depriving the track of the edge it otherwise possesses.

Equally so, the track called “Xolotl” opens strongly with a guitar riff that is a compelling as it is crushing as it embarks on a doom-laden journey. Seeing as the track has a considerably shorter runtime than its predecessor, its quality also rises significantly as I actually feel myself being more attentive as well as genuinely interested. The power-plays between the guitar leads and the synth-leads give off a playful vibe that is both fitting and interesting to listen to. The haunting slide down to an echoing lead guitar around the 6 minute mark is, perhaps, the most riveting moment of the album as it literally sends goosebumps running down my spine the very same instant as it appears.

With “Legendary Lamb”, the instrumental excursions of Manthra Dei push on relentlessly to both my joy as well as my indifference. As the track continues along the same paths of “Stone Face”, I can’t help myself from distancing myself a bit. The musicianship is, by all means, fine and dandy. What seems to be lacking here, is the same kind of development and climactic peaks as those that can be found on “Xolotl”. Without them, the soundscape stands weaker – which, in turn, diminishes the value of great tracks like “Xolotl”.

All in all, Manthra Dei have released a rollercoaster ride of an album. - Peaking at a very high level, but also coming way down from there when at its worst. In essence, I’d argue that this band could potentially become highly interesting as they progress, but at the current moment I can honestly say that they are only slightly above average, with a few tracks that stand out as what they should strive to achieve in order to become truly interesting.

Download: Xolotl, Blue Phantom
For The Fans Of: Colour Haze, Brujas Del Sol, The Machine

Release Date 20.10.2013
Acid Cosmonaut Records

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