Mandaground – Enlightenment LP (Grazil Records)

Mandaground - Enlightenment LP - Grazil Records

Grazil Records has already proved multiple times why they’re one of the best extreme underground music labels in Austria, but here’s another proof about it. Of course, this one also comes from the batch of records we received a while ago. I wasn’t familiar with Mandaground until I heard this release, but their name sounds familiar. Who knows, maybe I caught them on the first edition of Grazil Records & Friends, a various artist sampler that embraces both Grazil Records roster and fellow bands from the Austrian extreme music scene. Whether I have listened to their music before or not, these guys sound superb. Something keeps me spinning to their debut, and their sound unquestionably stands out from the contemporaries that lurk on the metal scene nowadays.

Enlightenment carries seven compositions that delve deep into several subgenres of metal music. Perhaps their sound could be unified by the experimental metal moniker, but you’ll notice there are some familiar subgenres of metal music included. These compositions carry elements of sludge metal, modern metal, black metal, post-metal, ambient metal, metalcore, post-hardcore, and maybe some other subgenres that I forgot to mention along the way. Mandaground nurtures luxurious sound that’s not so easy to replicate, and if there is someone brave enough to try to do so, he would probably fail to replicate their sound. Enlightenment unquestionably provides an exceptional, fresh, and unique sonic experience that will entertain your listening apparatus for a while.

By classifying themselves as an experimental metal band, they literally mean it. Mandaground avoids typical post-metal cliches and goes more toward sludgy metalcore sound enhanced by many characteristics of melodic and post-hardcore. You’ll also hear how the black metal scene inspired these musicians because there are plenty of black metal maneuvers included in a couple of songs. Still, Mandaground are not trying to overwhelm their primary sonic direction with these additions. There are even moments where the band goes into more psychedelic, progressive, spacey ambient waters, but as I said before, they’re doing it moderately and with a lot of sense for balance. The band invested nothing but brilliant ideas and excellent musicianship, and you’ll immediately notice their ability for structuring and arranging. Grazil Records did an outstanding job by putting this record as a vinyl release, enhanced by eye-peeling abstract artwork. Head over to Grazil Records website for more information about ordering.

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