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Black Manta : Fuck Them All But Six

Better late than never, right? This is an album that is a long time coming for Black Manta and this album, 'Fuck them All but Six'. This is one of those many bands from the Doom Capital (the Maryland/DC area) that never received the attention that they should have deserved. Luckily, since I lived in the area in the late 1990’s, so I was able to see these guys on an almost weekly basis for a while playing with Shine/Spirit Caravan, Place of Skulls, Iron Man, Death Row/Pentagram, Zebra (!) and Internal Void. Unfortunately, while all those received all the notoriety, Black Manta were somewhat passed by all the labels and attention. Part of this was due to the issue of a revolving door at the drummer position. Nevertheless, their first two demos are some of the best crushing stoner/doom rock (or what they called “bomb rock”) that I've ever heard. While the DC doom sound was heading more towards a more melodic sound or basic stoner rock, Black Manta were cranking out monolithic jams with little regard to whatever trends were going on at the time. For a band that lasted for almost nine years, their recording output is rather minimal. They were only able to put out a few demos and a couple of compilation appearances. Finally in 2004, psycheDOOMelic Records wisely picked up this band and put out their first album, 'Fuck them All but Six', with the legendary Joe Hasselvander of Pentagram behind the drum kit. But sadly, the band broke up not too long after the record came out and this EP fell between the cracks.

The best way to explain the tone of this album is best explained by calling is early Blue Cheer on a gratuitous amount of anabolic steroids, mixed along with some early Black Sabbath, but with a modern twist. One way to explain their sound is much akin to Earthride, but with their music but more up-tempo. Like their previous recordings, the guitar and bass take forefront, creating an absolute massive wall of doom that smashes you in the face like a ton of bricks. From the first notes of the opener 'Days of Yore', you know you are in a hell of ride. Unlike some doom metal bands, Blank Manta has never been afraid to write catchy hooks with their vocal parts. The gravely voice of vocalist Skull goes along right with the music, spewing out slightly esoteric rhymes of doom like "A circle is a square, or just an eye instead/Place seven crowns upon seven heads/Tomorrow maybe never, but yesterday is forever." Cool stuff!

This is a review that is long deserved for Black Manta, because this EP is absolutely top-notch with no weak spots. The only drawback to this album is that I wish it could have been a full length album and there wasn’t more new material. Three of the songs, 'Entropy', 'Apocalyptic Visions', and 'Space Ape' were on their previous demos. But honestly, that is only me nit-picking because I’ve been listening to this band since about 1998. If this was a fair and just world (which sadly it's not), Black Manta would have been millionaires with scores of women, endless amounts of beer, and the attention they most definitely deserved. While the rest of the swill that we’re forced to listen to on the radio would be festering away in some forgotten town, never to be heard again. Give yourself a treat and hunt down this album, along with the rest of their back catalogue as well. It’s well worth it.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
2.Days of Yore
3.Fuck Them All but Six
5.Space Ape
6.Apocalyptic Visions

Duration : Approx. 21 minutes

Visit the Black Manta bandpage.

Reviewed on 23-02-2009 by William Carter
Aesthetic Death
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