It’s the classic “band-moves-to-Hollywood-to-land-a-record-deal” story.
After driving out to Los Angeles in the summer of 2006 to play a few shows and expose themselves to the city’s thriving thrash metal revival scene, this Pennsylvanian band (then known as Meltdown) moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles in late 2007 to circulate their demo and savor what didn’t exist back home. Once they secured a contract with Nuclear Blast Records in 2008, they moved back to Pittsburgh and changed their name to MANTIC RITUAL. They even scored tours with Exodus and Rotting Christ prior to the release of their debut album. As far as the plot to this classic story line goes, does it get any better? The answer is yes – with a bullet.
Obviously inspired by the early works of thrash veterans Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Exodus, MANTIC RITUAL are definitely leaders in the new school of old school thrash metal. All the essential elements of what make thrash immortal are there: undiluted angst, blind aggression, smoldering speed, adrenaline-inducing drum beats and guitar riffs (“Black Tar Sin”), barking & tormented lead vocals (“Executioner”), backing gang vocals (“One By One”), and best of all, the manic, sweat-drenched, passionately delivered live shows.
Working with producer Andy Classen (Krisiun, Belphegor, Dew-Scented) at Stage One Studio in Germany, MANTIC RITUAL fed all their energies into getting the album that would introduce them to the worldwide metal scene to sound exactly as they wanted it. What they came up with is nothing less than an illegally sold 24-pack of canned lightning. Unabashed in its relevance to the Next Wave of American Thrash Metal, Executioner’s 11 ear-blistering tracks not only bring back the guitar solo, but pay due homage to the long instrumental segues in their equally respectable 7-minute songs (“Souls”). In light of how good these guys are now, they’ll only get BETTER - which may have nothing or everything to do with this year’s Super Bowl XLIII win by the band’s beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.
The bottom line: this is thrash metal the way it was MEANT to be written and played. Executioner epitomizes the “THRASH ‘TIL DEATH!” rallying call of denim-clad thrashers around the world by sonically triggering the “fight-or-flight” response in our reptilian brains. Holding their own while manning the front lines in this long-awaited-for & much deserved thrash resurgence, MANTIC RITUAL makes 1986 take a cold, hard stare into its rearview mirror to see what’s close behind it in this exhilarating high-speed chase. Look for MANTIC RITUAL on tour with Destruction & Krisiun in March & April and come witness their raw, attitude-driven, metal-thrashin’ mad crusade to double the blood spilled in the pits! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!!!