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Metal Bulletin Zine #185 Washington state, US September 4, 2019 (#1 in Sept.


White Mantis Weary

Orator Sacrilege
zine also available at:
White Mantis: Sacrifice Your Future Iron Shield Records 13 September 2019
White Mantis is a thrasher’s thrash band. Down to
the crossing of the two t’s and the dotting of the
two i’s, other thrash bands check out this band
and exclaim, “Das nenne ich Thrash!” From the
perspective of the band, the capitalist politicians
like to say, “Vote for me and I will make the future
better!” White Mantis is not interested in those
promises from baby-kissing and hand-shaking poli-
ticians, if this album is anything to go by. It seems
like dystopia is a very appropriate topic for them
to base their fast music. In this horrid future the
mutants dwell under the bridge of the old road to
the sewage treatment plant in your neighbor-
hood. Don’t ask the mutants to tell you about
government policies to make life better nor about
how corporations are “helping to make a difference.” It is all foul-smelling deception in
the eyes of the mutants who experience every day humanity’s great product roll on the
way to the plant.

Sharp riffs, fast songs and wild shouting, with drumming to keep a mosh pit going until
the break of dawn, the band dreams of becoming every headbanging thrasher’s
favorite new band. According to this book of heavy metal written by White Mantis,
headbanging moshing thrash is the best recipe when life gets you down or when you
want to celebrate in a moshing way. Saturday night’s alright for the pit, but so is any
day when good, consistent, reliable thrash is on the agenda. Loud and proud is their
brand since they began waking up the neighborhood in the city of Munich in the state
of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Did you know that Munich has a huge Oktoberfest,
the festival of festivals for all beer-loving peoples? Between Oktoberfest and White
Mantis, things should be looking up for the thrashers in Munich. Expect to bang your
head with fast songs and lyrics about the post-apocalypse and dystopia. The album
should please the devoted fan base of classic-style zombie-and-mutant thrash, whether
it is the U.S-American, Brazilian, German or any variety that upholds the tradition.

Weary: Demo 2018

1.Offering to the Madonna of Sorrows 06:45
2.Unto the Shadowy Depths... 07:45
3.A Ghost That Never Was 07:05

Weary is a new entity launched in 2018, but Sam (drums and lyrics) and Jess (strings and
vocals) don’t lack experience, which is why they quickly issued the Demo 2018
recording. On July 28th, 2019 we talked about the music of Weary with the band. When
people ask what genre it is Jess says, “I don’t even know what to call it.” Both Sam and
Jess express the view that they don’t care about the rules of the genres. It’s heavy, it’s
extreme metal, but they go as far as to say that grunge is in there in the music in some
small way. It may not be that obvious, but, as Sam explains, when they were young kids
listening to radio rock, that’s what young people in Washington State heard on the
airwaves. Sam emphasizes that he has always liked a good melody, including if it’s
black metal or extreme metal in general or whatever else it is.

When they were coming up with the new music,

they had the feeling that it was not really sticking to
any particular genre. The name of the band comes
from being tired of the nonsense of scene cliques
and scene politics. The recording has a lot of black
metal in it (Sam and Jess used to be in the
unorthodox black metal band Sacrament ov
Impurity), but they don’t claim to uphold any
definition of traditional black metal. At the same
time, when they go into speed mode, the sound,
the riffs, the vocals and the drums leave no doubt
that fast extreme metal is a persistent part of the
sound. On the demo, headbanging metal is the
dominant force, but the softer, quieter and melodic
passages offer an ear-catching contrast. The music in certain places has a catchiness
that might surprise attentive listeners. For instance, the third song, although enveloped
in an extreme metal framework, begins with a riff that rocks and this is one of the ways
that the traditional heavy metal, hard/classic rock and grunge may be manifesting
themselves in subtle ways. It will be interesting to hear where things go from here. The
band plans to begin recording the debut album in the fall of 2019.

They have been writing and rehearsing, and on August 17th at Evelyn’s Tavern in Clear
Lake, Washington they will be on the following bill: Entrails (reactivated Skagit County
punk/thrash), Weary, The Unfortunates, and others. When asked about the live
presentation for Weary, Jess adds that they will play in street clothes without any
ritualistic ornaments on stage. In terms of geography, if this writer’s memory is correct,
the band explained that Clear Lake is, more or less, in between Mount Vernon and
Sedro-Woolley in Skagit County, Washington where the show will happen.

interview: Orator
On the 28th of July, 2019 Orator played at the Mirkwood Public House in Arlington,
Washington State, U.S. They are technical extreme metal. Online they have an
impressive album called Kallipolis (2018) with lyrics and artwork that shows a
philosophical approach. Metal Archives says that they used to be called Stealth Force
Mutilation and in 2017 they apparently had a two-song demo with gore-and-violence
lyrics, including with profanities. Obviously, they have chosen to change gears towards
a more intelligent approach to the lyrics to go along with the skillful playing. We
inquired about the concept of the band. Isaac, who plays one of the guitars and does
the main growling, says, “The name Orator, we settled on that because it’s not very
pigeonholing as far as lyrical matter. If we named ourselves something violent, then
we’d probably have to have something very violent as subject matter. Orator all it
means is a public speaker. A public speaker could be a storyteller. I feel it’s the
opposite of pigeonholing. It’s also very tied to the subject matter of our release
Kallipolis.” Will the concept continue on future albums? Matt (guitars and backing
vocals) adds, “The new one will probably be a concept in its own way. We wanted that
flexibility. It won’t focus on philosophy and the Greeks. It’s in the process of being built.”
Isaac continues, “We have the skeletal structure, but we haven’t had the time to flesh it
out.” Isaac explains that they have been busy doing things like selling tickets to open for
Fleshgod Apocalypse. “As soon as that finished I had to set up the tour that we’re
about to go on. I managed to do that, but it doesn’t leave much room to be creative.
If I were to tie it (the new ideas for an album) to the whole concept of Orator. It’s a
public speaker …” Matt completes the thought, “from a pulpit or a soapbox who has
something to say. We do have something to say. The lyrics are very deliberate. They’re
posted online and we want people to check them out. The next one will have more
current issues. Everyone will be able to identify it. The next one might end up taking us
extra to do it, but it’s going to set the bar” in terms of what they seek with their art.

Earlier in the conversation Matt explained Isaac and himself had recently graduated
from college, and he also explained that the other
band members are about the same age. We ask
what makes a young band take the road of music
that is difficult to play due to the technicality and
blazing speed? What made the members of Orator
go for this challenging music? Matt says, “Our
interests are different, but in some respects it’s
similar. We both like Fleshgod Apocalypse.
Behemoth is near and dear to my heart. When I first
heard Behemoth I didn’t like it, I wasn’t ready for it.
Early on I was into metalcore. I liked Darkest Hour. I
loved the riffs and melodies. Amon Amarth, you
know, stuff like that. You can’t go wrong with that,
but I also like to go fast!” About the desire to go for
the technical, fast guitar, Matt continues, “I don’t know that I can blame it on a single
band.” For instance, he says, “I heard Man Must Die and for some reason those riffs hit
the spot. It clicked mentally. Music theory was always kind of interesting to me. ‘This
sounds really cool. Why does it sound really cool?’ That pulled me into that. Musicians
that are playing that fast.”

For Isaac it was “Suffocation. I really enjoyed Despise the Sun and Souls to Deny, the
comeback album. I spent a lot of time in mosh pits when I was younger. I went to one
show and my friend pulled me into the pit and I’ve never looked back. It’s so extremely
cathartic. I can’t get enough being in a pit when a band that I’ve connected with is
playing. It’s therapeutic.” How did he go from the pit to technical guitar playing? “It
started with a frustration with some of the bands I was listening to or being exposed to. I
just started writing music that would invoke the same feeling (the pit) in anyone else. I
wanted to be a vehicle for anyone else to experience that.” Matt agrees, “If we’re on
stage and we see people in a pit. That’s it. That’s all we want.” Isaac remembers, “For
the Fleshgod Apocalypse show, there were 10 or 15 people who were pitting. That was
one of the most gratifying experiences that has come from this so far. People really
enjoying themselves.”
In order to play Orator music you have to be obsessed with being a good musician and
knowing your instrument and what you want to do with it. For some of the material for
the show on this night, Isaac says that he was rushing trying to be ready and do it right.
He felt that he was not ready and he had to keep practicing. He recalls being “Terrified.
We had to perform these songs in front of these people and if I couldn’t do it, then
what are we going to do? Not play them? We had told people that we were going to
perform our album from start to finish, we can’t back out.”

They didn’t back out. A good time was had by the people watching the swirling riffs fly
in every direction. They will bring their music on the road. Orator begins touring on
August 2nd in Bend, Oregon, and it goes until the 11th of August. Check their Facebook
page for all the relevant information. Friends in the town of Bend, Oregon, it is time to
rock and roll.

Sacrilege: The Court of the Insane Pure Underground Records 2nd August 2019
Metal Archives registers no less than eight bands
named Sacrilege (It could be worse; there are 11
bands named Sacrifice, and even worse, there
are 20 bands named Tormentor). In addition, this
Sacrilege, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal
one, is not the other British band (punk; then
thrash; then melodic doom) that the older
generation may remember from the three studio
albums in the 1980s because, according to
Metal Archives, this NWOBHM band had only
three demos in the 1980s. Then there was silence
the 1990s and the 2000s.

This is now their seventh album. Talk about late

bloomers! The albums began arriving in 2011 and
this is the one for 2019. Maybe the musicians’ kids grew up and moved out of the house,
and now the guys have discovered that they are able to keep making music. Can you
imagine what it is like to be called a NWOBHM band and to have three demos from the
1980s? There are actually hundreds of those bands that recorded only a demo or a
single, if that. Can you also imagine going through decades of thinking about one day
resurrecting the band?

That’s what must have happened at some point in 2011 when the music started rolling
down the pipeline. They are elderly British gentlemen that were inspired by the greats of
the 1970s and early 1980s, and that’s what they play. The riffs are in the style of classic
heavy metal and hard rock, and thinking of the music as an updated or current version
of 1980 heavy metal is not far from the mark. The main thing is to have rocking songs
and in the familiar format of verses and choruses, and with melodies and solos. The riffs
are big and catchy, with a certain foundation of the year 1980 (think: Sabbath, Priest,
Scorpions) and the new sounds that inspired youth to form bands. The vocals are gritty
(DIY or street metal; not polished and layered) and the lyrics a bit on the angry side, like
someone who watches the news and reacts to politicians, preachers, crime, etc. In
short, fans of the NWOBHM and oldie heavy metal in general have another album to
pick up this summer.