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Is this the very first death metal oriented output of the history? It’s a question that many of you had already done for several releases in this genre. We start from Seven Churches and the Possessed demos to go to the first EPs by Kreator or Sepultura and the quest for an answer seems neverending because sometimes you can identify an effort as a simple, rawest form of thrash metal; a sort of a hybrid death one. This genre wasn’t born out of nowhere but it was a product of an evolution, a quite fast one, but always an evolution.
Undoubtedly, this demo for 1983 was really ahead for innovation and pure bestiality. Mantas was one of the very first groups to take the thrash metal and transport it to new levels of sheer brutality. I must recall you that the same year in which Slayer and Metallica put out their revolutionary debuts, someone was playing more extreme, Mantas exactly. The production is what it is and we can’t complain for this because that was the period and the money was not enough to record good tapes. What really astonished me on this tape (I have the bootleg CD version with all the Mantas/Death demos…) is the level of brutality and the obscurity.
If, during this period, there was someone that played obscure music in Europe, Helllhammer; in the United States we had Mantas to keep the flag high in the black sky. The differences between the two bands are evident and Mantas already had that marked tendency to play pure death. The riffs are really violent and the vocals are already in a primordial form of growl. Unfortunately, the production doesn’t help because it hides them to privilege the drums attack and the guitars. Anyway, you can always hear Chuck screaming on “Evil Dead”. The refrain is more or less similar to the original form on the debut album but on the verses the vocals are lower and less screamed.
It’s another thing on which we can reflect about, also because many experts in this sector always said that Chuck, for the vocal tone, was heavily influenced by Becerra. The case is open and just to remind you, the “Death Metal” demo by Possessed is from 1984. What a great thing, guys. In those years everything was growing, evolving and becoming stronger like a baby who’s turning to a kid. The screams on “Behind The Unholy Grave” are fixed on the pages of the book of the metal history for their rawness and pure malevolence.
“Death Metal” by Possessed and “Death By Metal” by Mantas, in 1984 and 1983 respectively. These are two of the very first examples of a rawest, more chaotic and brutal form of metal with the roots on thrash and the mind to death. Fantastic.