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EXCLUSIVE REPORT: WHAT’S UP WITH MANTIC RITUAL?

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Last week I saw this tweet: “Where the fuck are Mantic Ritual at? @AnsoDF? Help?” The question came from a rad L.A. metal dude and is a good one: Where the fuck indeed are the authors of the rave-reviewed 2009 debut Executioner? Are they not overdue for its follow-up and then for another choice slot on a cool tour? Why haven’t we heard a peep from the Pittsburgh thrashers since Executioner landed on two MetalSucks lists of 2009’s best albums (here, here)? Are they still on Nuclear Blast Records? Can fans start looking forward to this little-for-now band’s next album or what?

The answers to these questions are as follows: Los Angeles, yes, long story, no, and kinda. We learned these answers in fun exchange of emails with Mantic guitarist and delightful guy Jeff Potts, who, with great cheer and pristine sentence construction, stated the reasons for Mantic’s recent silence, the fate of Mantic’s near-complete second album, and the status of bassist Ben Mottsman and guitarist/singer Dave Watson (Icarus Witch). Check out Potts’ update and more after the jump.

Hey guys, how are you? Thanks for asking about what’s going on with Mantic! It’s nice to know we’re not completely forgotten, since we let things gradually fade away over the last year or two. He’s the story: Ben and I moved back to L.A., Dave didn’t; we had already gone a year using fill-in drummers following the departure of Adam [Haritan, Mantic drummer]. We did write an album — which is almost 100% recorded — but at this point no one wants to release it under the name Mantic Ritual. It’s been too long, the lineup is too different, and it just doesn’t feel like Mantic.

But the songs are good and Dave is the best engineer I know. Also, we managed to enlist a really great drummer whom I’m sure you’re familiar with — I’m not going to mention any names, since I’m 50-50 on whether we’ll even put it out — so I think it could sound great. If the release resulted in any cool show offers that are feasible for guys who live on opposite sides of the country, I know we would all be down.

This is a really long-winded way of saying that Mantic Ritual is finished. I’m glad the guys at MetalSucks.net contacted me, because it’s a perfect opportunity to thank all of you metal heads for the support, good times, and places to sleep on the road! I’m speaking for myself here, but I can’t think of a more fun way to spend five years. Thanks, metal community, for not all being hopelessly-wasted 45-year-olds asking me for the 14th time that night if I’ve ever listened to Infernal Majesty, and being mostly cool and interesting people from whom we’ve all gained a lot that we’ll take with us in life.

So, “What now?” you’re probably not at all asking … but I’m telling you anyway. Ben and I are in L.A. for the foreseeable future, and will always be playing tunes. I’m practicing a lot and starting to write a power metally kind of album, and I have some really cool and talented dudes on board already. Ben’s getting right back to work and filling in on bass for Warbringer on their US tour with Vital Remains and our old buddies Destruction right now. I’m not in very close contact with Dave, but I think it’s safe to say that he’s kicking ass in Pittsburgh playing with Icarus Witch and making great sounding records. Therefore, Mantic Ritual is done but we’re musicians, so you can’t get get rid of us that easily.

Primed to power metal: Potts in L.A. 2012

As for the release of that final sorta-Mantic album, Potts told me that he’s open to working with a label but might prefer to “experiment” with a self-release: “A lot of bands do very well with it these days, and no one wants to get tied down to the ‘old’ music industry model, which seems to be dead. I give zero fucks whether this album makes any money …” Okay great, sounds to me like it’ll come out someday. Can’t wait to hear it!So sigh, we pour one out for the deceased Mantic Ritual, but we cheers another one for Potts’ upcoming power metal (!) project. Backed hard!

-ADF

Special thanks to awesome Loana at Nuclear Blast USA. Get Mantic Ritual’s superb Executioner album here! Internet me @AnsoDF with tips and questions. 

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