Blazing across the hills of Colombia comes a force for metal that cannot be silenced (no, not Duncan Hills Coffee): the music of Mantus. Featuring on our Dread Lair special this week, my fascination is what lies behind the music; what drives the birth of such a twisted creation? I paused to offer a quick supplication in the presence of Darkcrow, brainchild of Mantus, to delve into the his mind and motivations…..
Darkcrow thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions at the Metalcast.
D: Thanks to you for great support.
You created the band back in 2007. In the beginning, how did you get the idea for Mantus? What was your aim?
D: My main objective with Mantus was and it’s still an indiscriminate attack to the Christianity like doctrine and like a form of seeing the world, an eternal homage to the opponents that historically has had this rotten religion and a more direct form for meeting with my essence so much as ideologically and musically.
Now I have the presence in the band of a dark warrior: Lord Lugubrum Impius from Enter Hell band, he joined the band as second guitar… now we are two in Mantus.
This happened because the new guitar arrangements need two guitarists obligatorily so that it sounds well in the rehearsal…you know… he’s a very good guitar player and very good friend of me… because that reasons I have decided join him to the band.
It is a lot easier for bands to flourish in a like minded creative environment. Was the underground Columbian metal scene active at the time? Were there like minded bands around or was everything mainstream?
D: The black metal scene in Colombia has always been very active, what I think is that has not been given at world the level of importance that it has really, if you observe well and searches with attention, you will find Colombian black metal bands with different influences and atmospheres in the music, that which is a great sample of the creativity the bands possess, looking retrospectively in Colombia black metal has made from a lot of time before than other parts of the world: will give you an example: parabellum and reencarnacion went bands that inspired to the selfsame Euronymous to create the scale model of what today we knows as black metal.
We see many one-man black metal projects alive and well in this day and age. What do you think Mantus can bring to the fans that is different from all the others?
D: Mantus is a band majority influenced by black metal bands of the old school of the 80’s and principles of 90’s but obviously as you have been able to check, the album manages atmospheres made with keyboard and some piano in the songs, doesn’t interest me to exceed in the use of pianos and synthesizers but I believe that it’s a very good form of giving complement to the crudeness that I manage in the guitar compositions, mantus is a project that manages the power and the crudeness of the pioneer bands of the BM. with something of current sounds.
I have been able to see many bands that are exceeded in crudeness, as others that exceeded in melodies made in a synthesizer; mantus is something neuter between two tendencies with a powerful and guaranteed dark sound of black metal.
As a creative guy myself, I would love to get into your mind as you create a song. How long does it take to produce a whole track, overall?
D: The time in the process of composition of each song varies of one to other, the main thing for me is to have a clear idea of what I mean in the word of the song, after having ok the idea, takes me in general from 3 to 4 days the composition and adaptation of the words because I am very careful in that sense.
With the musical aspect it is different… I had made songs that I have composed it in 2 or 3 hours, as others that have taken me months to finish it, I think that the inspiration plays a very important paper, because doesn’t interest me to make a lot empty songs… and sometimes because of the job or study I don’t have a lot of time… you know.
I would imagine you would lay down a rhythm track first. Is there much room for creativity in planning a black metal drum track?
D: My composition method is based mainly on the guitar, because in my other bands I am bassplayer, mantus is the portal where I exploit myself as guitarist, first that everything I make the rhythmic guitar riffs of the whole song, starting from this and variations in tempo and compasses I beginning to think how structuring the drums concept.
Do you use any particular software or hardware in your recording?
D: Of course… I use adobe audition (record software) an audio/midi interface and a mixer.
…Very simple things
Some of the songs on “In the Dark Company” involve ambient and other sounds. How do you go about layering the various parts needed in any one track?
D: As I told you previously … doesn’t interest me to sound like a monotonous band of speed and crudeness only, in my compositions I use intermediate spaces and intros that give me the possibility to compose the ambient parts with my synthesizer, since which are usually in their majority very simple… I am not a great keyboarder and don’t interest me to fill all my songs with keyboards.
You have recently joined up with the Dread Lair which is based in Texas, USA. I bought my copy of your CD from there. In what ways can underground labels like The Dread Lair help bands such as yours?
D: The underground labels are something that helps a lot to bands like Mantus among other many bands arrive to the correct hearings, in their majority the underground labels make the things for pure love to the BM and not for the money, that is something that I value too much for that unfortunately there are not a lot of people that thinks the music and the essence are more important that to enrich, also it doesn’t interest me that my music arrives to anybody what is not a true black heart metaller.
I will take advantage of this question to thank Dread Lair to have believed and supported my music, at the moment I am recording a new album and I would like a lot to stay with them for the aspect of the distribution in u.s.a.
You are also involved with Blasphemer and Iblish, both of which would seem to be still active to an uninformed onlooker. Do these bands represent different sides of you, or do you keep them all separate in your consciousness?
D: In no way I try to be a different person in each band, I always looks for to be myself, Iblish and Blasphemer, they supplement me in an extraordinary way as metaller and person, and these bands manage similar ideologies and very similar thoughts.
¿How I could to create words of some type and then to go with another band to say completely different things without becoming me in an idiotic poser?
Blasphemer was the first serious band of which I made part, we found it, I love thrash metal of the 80’s and for that reason I also dedicate to blasph. a lot of attention and effort.
Iblish is for me it is also a great experience… I have had the opportunity to travel for several cities and to know very special people of the scene like to my guitar teacher: Rubén Restrepo (Majestic fire) of the band Infernal.
There are many metalheads out there who want to create metal. What would you say is needed for someone to have the character to see this kind of thing through to the end? Have you any advice for such a person?
D: First that everything is the feeling, if it exists they will have the perseverance that the metal demands for some day to end up being somebody in the scene, my advice is for people want to make BM for fashion or because it seems to be cool: stop immediately to make it because the years discover everything and in the future you will be seen as bitch fools.
And for the true warriors: don’t desist, be always right in their way and the most important thing: love the metal.
Many of your tracks involve anti-Christian themes – is this important to you as a person? Why do you think this is?
D: Of course the anti-christian topic makes part of my daily life I always take it in my mind for that… is a feeling that was born starting from many reflections that I made when I was a little more young, Christian people disgusts me so much… all of them seem like zombies idealized for a farce… they refuse to see more things of life than a church and a pedophile preacher, for me they are mediocre beings that don’t deserve to inhabit the planet.
Your bands have also explored themes such as death and war. Are there any other themes you would love to explore in future work?
D: Yeah, lately I have been reading a lot about the demoniac possessions, ghastly appearances and cases of incantations with black magic that have happened here in Latin-America, I cannot deny that this is a topic that calls deeply my attention and is very possible I will write about this kind of things in the future.
Many current black metal bands look back to the past and the old school for their inspiration. For you, what is the future for black metal?
D: For me, the future of the black metal, it takes everyone of the musicians and fans very inside of them, everyone makes it but strong or allows it to die, I would not dare to say with certainty that will pass in the future, but we need warriors that are not allowed to influence for the ideological and commercial garbage of the shit pop culture.
Finally, if you could communicate one thing to your audience, what would it be……..?
D: Stay dark and brutal, the black metal is not political … is a spiritual thing,
Don’t be allowed to influence for Nazi neither Communist shit ideas, at the end the whole human race is the one that should disappear.
Thanks again, Darkcrow, all the best to you in your future enterprises.
D: Thank to you Si for your interest and support all the best for you!