With an infusion of new blood from now-defunct Chicago outfit Indian, you might be expecting something slightly sludgier from this Midwest blackened doom troop this time around. A new sound, after all, would justify the release of this four-song EP, which clocks in at just over 24 minutes.
“SIG Safer” immediately signals that Lord Mantis isn’t playing it any safer, pushing the tempos right off the bat with a true Norwegian-style black metal barrage. The title track has a bit more of a post-metal feel, a slow, rugged buildup punctuated by pulsating percussion and bilious blackened vocals. In fact, this track probably wouldn’t sound outta place on the last couple Indian albums.
“Semblances” seems to be more of the same slowed-down blackened sludge, though this one has a few more gut-punching breakdowns than its predecessor. “Final Division” brings the EP to a close with a seven-minute slobber-knocker that kicks and punches its way through some slow-mo lowlights. Though they moved more away from the slow stuff on their last album, I’d certainly say the lineup change has brought the sludge back.