EP Review: Mantlet - Burning
Who is Mantlet?
Mantlet are a four-piece metallic hardcore band from Coventry, quickly rising through the ranks of the UK hardcore scene. Vocalist Dane, guitarist Alec, bassist James and drummer Luke have recently released their very first EP as a band. Burning is the second release from Mantlet (the first being their demo released back in February) and was produced by Dan O’Reilly at Bay Ten Studios. The EP was released on the 19th October and is available on Spotify, Apple Music, bandcamp and also still available as cassette here on nuclearfamilyrecords.co.uk
Let’s chat about this EP!
I sat down and had a listen through the EP right from start to finish which took me just under 12 minutes (11 minutes, 56 seconds to be exact) for the 4 songs. It’s a quick turn around but that’s exactly what you expect from a hardcore EP, and if you’ve got a quick drive or walk to the shop or something, this is perfect to whack on and still not miss a thing.
My first impression straight into song #1 was that this EP has a raw sound which I personally love. Dan O’Reilly has managed to capture this great underground sound from the mix, but without losing much of that beefed up low bass tone or distinct guitar tones. This makes it seem super raw, real and the feel is very 80/90’s OG hardcore, but with that clean modern edge. It’s punchy and angry but still musical, they haven’t fallen into the doom trap trying to make it nonstop beatdown in the hopes that it should sound hard, so you can still groove in between stomping and mosh opportunities.
What’s more, every song is distinct, which I find can become an issue for some hardcore bands, even the big dogs. I genuinely have a hard time learning song names because a lot of them tend to be very samey and I can never tell the difference, but I don’t have that issue with this EP at all.
Song By Song
This first track of the EP opens straight into blast beats to set the energy bar high off the bat, before falling into the more comfortable but still up-tempo stomp riffs. It’s a heavy-hitting track so you know exactly what Mantlet are here to do, and it's not to play games. Despite only being 2 ½ minutes long it has so many elements to it and even has two distinct mosh periods to go alongside the otherwise quick tempo of the song, so you know exactly when its time to clart your mate in the face. We’re also introduced to vocalist Dane’s voice much more clearly in these parts, which you can tell he’s putting all his effort into. He’s not half arsing some shouts, he’s laying everything out on the table here as it were, and the passion in his tone comes across very well because of it.
At first listen this title track was instantly my favourite. It’s the one that grabs my attention straight away, and I think that’s because its slightly heavier and I like it on the heavy side. It’s also their first track ever released with a feature included, and that honour goes to Dan from Splintered. This track leans more towards the beatdown region of hardcore, which is 100% where my preferences like to live. It’s angry as f**k, includes a good pinch of bleughs for good measure, and after that classic breakdown, we go straight into a two-step rhythm to carry that mosh through. I can definitely see why this was chosen as the title track – it’s the one that’s going to gain the most attention for the band from the wider hardcore community as a whole, because no matter what type of hardcore you swing towards, we all love a meaty beatdown.
Judas is a slower tempo than the previous two from the get-go. It gives it a much darker tone than the rest of the EP and you can really feel the anger resonating from the whole thing. It gives me red eyes, smoke coming out of the ears, smashing up everything in your path vibes. I’d say it was the simplest track, but simple and effective, proving that not everything has to be complicated to be good. It's just 3 minutes of pits, which is what you need when you’re fuming.
This last track gives me more metal vibes. The guitar plays a much more prominent role in this track, with more complicated riffs throughout, it’s very much a shift in focus in some areas from the very low tones we’ve been hearing throughout, but still somehow doesn’t lose that heavy element at all. 422 also brings back the groove, you could even do the orange justice and whip to this track if you wanted to (which I can’t stop doing now). Also, now that I’ve said that I want to see it at every show Mantlet play; thanks in advance.
Overall, love the EP. Every song brings something different to the table while still managing to sound cohesive rather than like 4 different bands, proving just how versatile and talented Mantlet are. I love that Dane’s vocals emanate so much passion and I know that this translates not only onto his own performance on stage but also to the rest of the band too.
Make sure you check out Mantlet ASAP because if you don’t, you’re missing out! You can find all of Mantlet’s social media, music and merch through the links below.
If you’re a small band, promotion company, record company or gig photographer (especially local to the Midlands) drop me an email -which you can find on my contact/pr rage- or dm me on insta and we can chat about working together!