Indie wrestling legend Ultramantis Black sadly had his in-ring career cut short last year due to nagging leg injuries, leaving fans of the militant vegan hero’s sideline in metal wondering if a follow up to his kick ass 2014 Relapse debut was in the cards. We love surprises almost as much as we love the blistering crust punk flavor of Mantis’ sonic output, so we were overjoyed when the great and devious one took to social media yesterday to announce his brand new EP “They Make Plans To Poison Us”.
Though his highly entertaining wrestling persona centers on outlandish super sentai tropes (which some lip service was paid to even on the previous record, “Biomonster DNA” comes to mind), Mantis is furiously all business on wax this time out, taking to task opposing forces of “animal liberation, earth liberation, human liberation”. The breathless tirade of album opener “Content to Languish” immediately signals the arrival of an even more pissed off Ultramantis, vocal delivery more raw and urgent than that of the self-titled, a call to arms over pounding drums and pained, dissonant riffage.
“New Paradigm” offers a punkier, staccato attack, Mantis outlining the barbarism of industrial meat processing with blood curdling screams that would make a young Tom Araya cover his ears. “No Burial” slows the pace to a jagged crawl, an opus of barely contained rage for the unjustly committed. “We’re battle borne, prepare for war”. The aptly named final track, “Final Nail”, warns of the “stain on all humanity” of the animal fur and flesh trade against an earth shattering, pit-ready hardcore breakdown.
Tough he continues to be part of Chikara in a non-wrestling capacity, Mantis’ true physical fury has been beautifully redirected from the squared circle to the stage, harnessing the style born on his debut disc into a laser focused nuclear payload of seething heavy metal hate aimed squarely and justly at his animal abusing, environment destroying enemies. Puroresu’s loss is grindcore’s gain, and we hope UMB continues to steadily deliver this socio-politically scathing brand of powerviolence, even in these bite sized but oh-so filling portions, for years to come.