Sin is the sophomore release from Oslo, Norway act Mantric, a trio comprised of three former members of Extol, vocalist/guitarist Ole Sveen, guitarist/vocalist Tor Glidje, and bassist/vocalist John Mjaland. Following the demise of Extol back in 2007, these three immediately formed a new band, with the debut The Descent being released in 2010, and here they are five years later with their follow-up. Joining the band to round out the instrumentation are guest musicians David Husvik, Anders Salomon Lidal, and Martin Sivertsen.
If you followed Extol, you are no doubt aware of the daring mix of death metal and atmospheric prog that the band employed, and Mantric are no different, as they've offered up 9 tracks here that seamlessly blend extreme metal, prog, and a little punk for good measure. Layers of guitar and acrobatic drum work permeate the frantic "On the Horizon", complemented by a mixture of screams and clean vocals. The second half of the song is actually quite interesting, as the band opt for moody atmospherics not unlike what we would hear from a band like Anathema. The somber tones continue on "Give Me Eyes", a song featuring thick bass tones courtesy of Mjaland, while "Maranatha" blends atmospheric black metal with the stark minimalism of post-rock. Upbeat punk can be heard on "Die Old", while rocking, somewhat complex tunes such as "FaithFaker" and "In the Shadow of My Soul" shows the band have a penchant for pop hooks to go along with a furious combination of metalcore and progressive metal.
If I have one complaint about Sin, it's that too many of the songs seem to follow a similar pattern (harsh screams, heavy section, clean vocals, atmospheric section), and though there are some very nice textures here, I would have loved to see them rip it up a little more, as they do on the opener "FaithFaker". Still, it's a very fine second effort from them, and an album worth investigating.
2) On the Horizon
3) Give Me Eyes
4) Arrogance vs. Anxiety
5) Die Old
8) In the Shadow of My Soul
9) Black Eyes