Germany’s Mantar deliver an incredibly heavy sound on their third album, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze. The two-piece hit like they’re a six-piece, and the songs flirt with sludge, crust, hardcore, even black metal… it’s an interesting mixture, so we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Hanno Klänhardtto find out what the five heavy albums that changed his life were.
It’s no huge surprise that the albums are as varied as the sounds found on The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze, with Klänhardt admitting to a soft spot for everything from black metal to classic rock. Read on to find out what makes the mighty Mantar tick.
AC/DC – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) (1978)
When I was about six years old, my dad used to make some money with any kind of stuff next to his main job, so any kind of flea-market shit would be good business for him. One day he got two big boxes of old cassette tapes second-hand, ready to flip. He never got rid of them, so I listened to every single tape in these boxes, which was 99 percent horrible trash. But there was one ugly old orange tape in it, with a guy with a guitar sticking in his belly. That cover got me curious, and that’s how I discovered the most important record of my life. From the first second on, I was hooked. That energy, the volume of the crowd screaming, I couldn´t believe it. Everything about this was great, and it was everything I had been looking for in my six-year-old, until-then-meaningless life. After the first listen, I was 100-percent sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my existence. Be like them.
Metallica – Ride the Lightning (1984)
I was 11 years old when we ransacked the record collection of my best friend’s older sister. We found a lot of good stuff. Sodom, Kreator, and also Ride the Lightning. That was the day I really discovered metal. Of course, my best friend and I decided we needed to have a band too in order to play that kind of music, so he begged his parents, successfully, to buy him a cheap electric guitar. I didn’t have any luck with mine, so I had nothing except for my lovely, girly-sounding voice. Also, we didn’t have any other friends, so our first band was my friend making random noises with his guitar and 11-year-old me screaming in an old tape recorder. Our first and only song was a cover version of “Fight Fire with Fire,” from that particular record. Also we had a very strong and solid band name, The Metal Cops, which made us already back then true as fuck. The police of the scene, so to speak. We ruled.
Sepultura – Chaos A.D. (1993)
I know it might be not the coolest and truest album from this band to start with, but when you make your mom go to the local record store and buy it for your 12th birthday it is. I saw a cool-ass commercial on German MTV back then (when that was still a thing) and I knew I had to have it. Once I had it in my hands I was shocked by the booklet and the gruesome pictures inside. It scared the shit out of me. But at the same time, I was hypnotized by the insanely heavy music and groove. After my birthday, I didn’t leave my room for days, listening to that record, being scared by the artwork and eating candy. I still love that record. It is Sepultura’s Nevermind. The songwriting is perfect without losing any heaviness and focus. A masterpiece. That’s also why I was so disappointed and confused with Roots afterwards. I totally didn’t get that one.
Gluecifer – Ridin’ the Tiger (1997)
I was 16 years old and Erinc [Sakarya], the drummer of Mantar, introduced me to this new wave of Scandinavian rock. Not only was it cool and good as fuck, it also finally made me appreciate classic rock way more than I did before (next to AC/DC). That record still rules hard. It’s rock ‘n’ roll all the way, with a strong punk attitude, and it’s a constant cliche. Almost in an arrogant way. I loved that. That’s exactly what I needed after several dark years with grunge (way too late) and teenage depression. A few days later, I put a KISS patch on my red baseball cap and decided my dark days were over. Now it was time for living the good life. The shoes on the cover pretty much symbolize the essence of that record. A cocky display of power. My cool dad looked on eBay for weeks in order to find me exactly these kind of shoes. I still have ’em and love ’em. Good man. For my high school graduation, other kids got cars or cash money. I got fake snake-skin cowboy boots. He really took that whole shoe game to the next level. Thank you, Gluecifer.
Darkthrone – Transilvanian Hunger (1994)
The older I got, the more metal started to bore and disappoint me. So I got way more in to punk rock. I just really liked the raw, fuck-off attitude and, of course, had some punk bands myself. The DIY approach, the anti-fashion aspect (even though no one has stronger dress codes than teenage punks), the aggression, just everything. Punk was my home for many, many years. Than I discovered black metal. It hit me hard. I had no idea! I never cared too much for the lyrical content, I just loved how fucked up it was. Especially Darkthrone. You really could hear the punk attitude and raw power. The blast beats and that pissed voice. The sound quality was mesmerizing. So dark, so primitive, so true. It changed my way of thinking. I have to say that discovering black metal for me was like discovering punk for the second time. A super important moment in life. Everything seemed possible.