SXSW Live Shot: Mantar

Hamburg duo splinter intricate sludgecore

Sometimes early showcase slots hold the headliners. Sparser and more sober crowds tend to be more receptive to the unknown, so when Mantar usurped the Dirty Dog stage from shouty openers Moon Tooth, it felt like anything could happen. It did. Deafeningly.

Photo by John Anderson

Turkish skinsman Erinc Sakarya set his kit on the side of the stage, facing German guitarist Hanno Klanhardt – everything drenched in black. Opener “Spit,” off debut LP Death By Burning (Brutal Panda), then set the tone with whipcord beats and shrieking guitar. Klanhardt’s rusty razorwire vocals went far beyond piercing, crossing over into some aural Lovecraftian plain.

That’s all it took to get the audience’s hackles standing at terrified attention.

“Into the Golden Abyss,” ominous, gargantuan, splintered the very stage and sent literal temblors throughout the venue. A fair price to pay for having your soul barbecued by the belt-sander-to-your-mind riffage of “Astral Kannibal.” Who was left standing after that?

Doomcore? Sludgethrash? Flat black jet-engine deaf drone?

Defying easy categorization, Mantar’s painfully intense set was best summed up by another exiting patron: “Shit, dude, I’m not sure who those guys were, but they’re my new favorite band.”

Complete SXSW Music coverage at

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Mantar, SXSW Music 2015, Erinc Sakarya, Hanno Klanhardt

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