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The Locust Mantra

Sweden Country of Origin: Sweden

The Locust Mantra
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: October 6th, 2023
Genre: Black
1. The Clandestine Gospel
2. Mater Pest
3. Demigod Doctrine
4. World Infernal
5. When Noble Hearts Failed
6. Inescapable Echoes Of War
7. Alter Omega
8. In The Garden Of Crystallized Souls
9. Dawn Of The Fearmongers

Review by Felix on November 29, 2023.

"Orbithon Wave", the debut of Sentinel Sirens, is a musically solid work, but the performance of the lead singer destroyed a lot of the music’s power. Why do I tell this? Well, exactly this dude called Heval Bozarslan returns here – and again he is responsible for the vocals. But good news, he has chosen a different approach this time. The vocals are equipped with a pretty raw effect and so he does not sound very organic, but much more vigorous than on the aforementioned album. Thus, his reputation is restored. Heval delivers no outstanding, but a good performance on The Locust Mantra.

Speaking of locusts, I was thinking of Agent Steel at first, but Third Storm are not waiting for the arrival of aliens on Earth. Their thunderous and pretty fantastic opener reminds me of the very intense art of Craven Idol's "Forked Tongues“ and it is somehow a pity that they do not maintain its intensity, which is built on a combination of black and thrash metal elements. During the entire album. 'Demigod Doctrine', for instance, is a respectable number with fine melancholic melodies at the end, but the integration of a higher portion of courage, aggression and determination would have been a good idea. Anyway, the offensive, direct and powerful production guarantees that no song falls through the net. The mix is one of the reasons why the pretty merciless, dark and sinister 'World Infernal' leaves a very good impression.

Third Storm present a broad portfolio, sometimes pretty melodic, sometimes with full force ahead. Generally speaking, that’s okay, but the Swedes should have a closer eye on a coherent overall picture. 'Inescapable Echoes Of War' is a sledgehammer which lies in close proximity to the violent opener. Dense, ferocious guitar lines meet rapidly hammering drums. A good song, but it is not easy to find the connection to its direct neighbor, the partly comparatively mild 'When Noble Hearts Failed' with its tomorrow-I-will-be-ar-rockstar-solo. And the industrial touch at the beginning of 'Alter Omega' offers already the next facet. By the way, this is another track that knows neither clemency nor compassion.

From my point of view, The Locust Mantra is no perfect album, but the band avoids serious mistakes as well. For example, the intermezzo that separates the first seven songs from the murderous closer is neither necessary nor annoying. Too bad that the band does not always make good use of its compositional skills. Thus, we have a big number of respectable songs here, but only the opener casts its undeniable spell over the listener. Anyway, black metal fans who like the integration of thrash elements instead of putting the focus on an ice-cold or eerie atmosphere can check this album.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10