Ultramantis Black is one of those wrestlers wot does music! Apparently there are quite a few of them and having a look around I see that even Hulk Hogan has been involved in several bands. Perhaps it would be a good question to ask on UK quiz game Pointless to see how many are named. If so scoring the highest would probably be Chris Jericho among our readers due to his involvement in Fozzy who when I saw them at Bloodstock were an excruciatingly painful experience and one that I would rather avoid again at all costs, almost as much as watching wrestling itself which I must admit is something that I am no fan of. Anyway before I start rattling on about the likes of Stone Cold Austin’s – Stone Cold Metal (the horror) you may well have guessed the way this review is going (otherwise it would be a bit bloody pointless) that Ultramantis Black is a wrestler wot does music! Apparently as far as wrestling is concerned he is a professional Chikara wrestler and I will say his masked mantis style suit looks pretty funky as he wears it in the ring and on stage too by the looks of it.
What sort of music would you expect a wrestler to play, well angry music I suppose? Certainly not doom although that could be good for a sumo wrestler. Anyhow cutting to the chase and looking at the label it should not be too surprising that Ultramantis Black is a practitioner of the esteemed arts of grindcore! Apart from the music he seems politically very upstanding as these nine brief slabs of rage with titles like Earth War and Deepest Ecology show that he is very much one with survival of the planet in mind rather than its utmost destruction; apparently he is a vegan to boot.
Musically this does everything you would expect. It’s fast and furious, it twists and turns and batters you senseless in a very short time. It’s an EP and the nine tracks clock in at under the quarter of an hour mark (an album would be well pushing the limits). There’s anarchic samples and beat-downs flung straight at you on opener Biomonster DNA and it’s sharp, aggressive and obtuse musically. Vocals are quite high yapping yells and screams that are driven along in time to the music and everything slews around and gets completely in your face. His band are apparently made up of members of Pissed Jeans so obviously there is no denying their proficiency in the grand scheme of things as they tear away and shred with grating intensity. The anger in the vocals means that any lyrical message is lost but samples and some doom filled breaks fill in the gaps as do those titles with ‘Oil And Gas’ making me think of the similarly themed Nader Sadek.
If you are looking for a short burst of brutality and like the flattening sound of everyone from Cephalic Carnage to The Locust you should find what you are looking for here. I guess that as far as wrestlers wot do music are concerned Ultramantis Black pisses over any dire competition and if you think otherwise feel free to let him know and get in the ring and sort it out. I’m not going there!
(6.5/10 Pete Woods)