Mantas - _Zero Tolerance_
(Demolition Records, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6.5 out of 10)
Mantas, founding member of the legendary Venom, is the main man unleashing this harsh heavy metal assault from northern England. Gruff vocals, strong riffs and pounding drums constitute the basis of the band's no-frills approach. Some occasional clean vocals provide a somewhat jarring contrast, and various recorded samples are also used throughout. The production is a bit strange, with what seems like an attempt to give the guitars and drums an extra edge apparently backfiring somewhat; the sound still does its job though, and some people will probably even like it a lot, but to my ears it could have been better and seems to try too hard to be heavy.

Some of the riffs work very nicely, as the emphasis is kept entirely on straightforward metallic crunch. The resulting simplicity can work both for and against the album: when the riffs hit home, it seems to make them all the more enjoyable; but when they don't, it renders the entire track uninteresting, as it has nothing else to offer. The balance of enjoyable versus passable tracks may depend on quite how "metal" you're feeling at the time, but the ratio is generally acceptable. Simple, unpretentious fun, but not something you will be very likely to keep spinning after a while.


(article published 10/3/2005)

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