Lord Mantis have had a tumultuous past five years, to put it mildly. After releasing Death Mask to great acclaim in 2014, they underwent some sudden and substantial line-up changes, including the loss of bassist-songwriter Charlie Fell and guitarist Ken Sorceron (Abigail Williams). Then tragedy struck in 2016, when drummer Bill Bumgardner (also of Indian fame) died at the too-young age of 35. And then we didn’t hear anything from Lord Mantis for three years.
Fortunately, the band appears to have rebounded. They’ve announced that they’ll release Universal Death Church, their first album in five years, via Profound Lore on November 22.
Furthermore, Fell and Sorceron have both returned to the fold, reuniting with guitarist/vocalist Andrew Markuszewski and new drummer Bryce Butler (who has played with Sorceron in both The Faceless and Abby-Dubs). And the first single, “Damocles Falls,” suggests that Death Mask fans won’t be disappointed. “Damocles Falls” is spacey, seething, expansive, ugly (there’s fourteen seconds where I’m reasonably sure Markuszewski is just hocking loogies), and burned-to-a-crisp black metal. In other words: Lord Mantis really are back, baby!