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“Nice Teeth Whore”: Here Comes The New Lord Mantis

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It was 11 months ago that on our desks landed an announcement of a very different new line-up of Lord Mantis. The change felt weird, super unexpected, and kinda reminiscent of that old Saturday Night Live parody commercial for “Bad Idea Jeans”: Only a few months before that, their masterpiece Death Mask was named among 2014’s best metal albums. That followed a half-year of frothy acclaim and rubbernecking, so its follow-up was set up for big impact. So why overhaul the line-up now? And why slice off the face of Death Mask, bassist-songwriter Charlie Fell — his voice, his songs, his interviews — and key contributor Ken Sorceron (of Abigail Williams)?

Bad idea. But Fell later explained to MS that it had to happen: Each half of LM personnel couldn’t co-exist with the other. Anyway, since then it’s become a minor sport to decode the infrequent messages from the owners of the Lord Mantis name, and their new band that’s half of the defunct band Indian plus the weird guy from American Heritage. A master of psychology and language, their leader Andrew Marcuszewski (guitar) states that the just-announced Lord Mantis EP isn’t some radically new thing. In fact, its much of the same as Death Mask, though the creators of that album are absent.

The music delves to and draws from the same place Lord Mantis has always drawn from; the most vicious aspects of the beast [shoved] in everyone’s face. The songs can move anywhere, [from] moments [of] fervent aggression to areas more nauseous and grimy. Every time we write new music we’re more confident than before with what we’re doing. The sound and technique of Lord Mantis is second nature to us, but we’re also never afraid to explore new territory.

Recap: Different people, but same Lord Mantis, yet new Lord Mantis, got it. Though gosh it’s tough to comprehend how Lord Mantis is second nature to three people who are new to Lord Mantis — and possibly to anyone in a really different version of any band — or how little the EP’s title is grimy or nauseous: Nice Teeth Whore. That’s the name of a song by Glassjaw I think. Hardly mentioned in Markuszewski’s statement is his fledgling record label, via which the EP will arrive on April 29. Can the new Lord Mantis win the hearts and minds of fans of Death Mask and its predecessor, Pervertor? It’s possible.

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