Mantra – Dreamland

West London 3-piece Mantra have been making a name for themselves, gaining support of Allusinlove which is coming close to an end and creating a fair sized fan base. But how about their new album Dreamland?

Opening track I Want punches hard and heavy with its distorted guitar and bass pull-offs and timely drums hitting on a solid beat before the introduction of a rough and rigid indie style vocals take lead of the song. A mix of fuzzy instrumentals and a close to grungy voice to accommodate on Stroke leading some resemblance to Queens Of The Stone Age and even elements of early Muse minus the extreme high-end vocals. Slowing it down for Cola Brat lending a cleaner and more clear guitar tone and simplified riffs to make it an easy-to-follow song before Run Away provides some off-beat hits and palm muted guitar riff with a chorus that is full of force and probably the most catchiest so far and definitely not “fade into the background” as the lyrics suggest.

Bringing back the noise of Brit-rock style vocals and airy more quieter sections in New Friends, it is a bit of a whirlwind track when you are unsure of what may follow after each bar when you think it is picking back up. Annexe has the gritty British-rock flow and a very dominant post-chorus riff, a chorus that hits the higher vocal notes and a solo that compliments the melody. Russian Roulette is the latest track to be released as a music video, although the song is probably not justice for the other tracks heard so far, bringing the very darkest of feelings in the slow and slurring track it is best not to judge the rest of the album from this, unless slow and depressing sounding is your thing!

Picking up the pace again with Skinned Alive with the drums opening and odd guitar riff that soon drops into the mix and a more raw-energetic vocal melody takes control. Like their latest release Russian Roulette, the next song Too Little Too Late has taken the slow and steady route although in this case does not win the race for me, call it a personal choice if you will but I enjoy the more pacey tracks this album has had to offer, as the song fades with a stringed section and a count in form the drummer for Individual that again picks up. So far the release has been a roller coaster, like being the sleepy person at the party who eventually gets crazy and then has a come-down not too long after. End Of Time lends a straight chord progression with use of distortion to make it not so much of a stand out track closing with Retrograde that has some nice lead guitar bits and melodies and has that closing feeling.


Overall, the flair of originality musically may not appear notable but there is much worse out there that are gaining much exposure, so who knows? Maybe these guys are onto something that I am not aware of, maybe I have a different opinion to the fan base this would be projected to more, although I keep an open mind to reviewing all genres.

Will Pearce

February 19, 2019

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