For those who don’t know, Unteachers is an alternative metal band featuring ex-members of Tantrum of the Muse and Huntingtons.  Manta Birostris is another unconventional metal band, this one hailing from Poland.  These Orthodox Christians mix grunge, doom/stoner metal and avant garde jazz (yes, some wailing saxophones over the top of some of the dirtiest riffs I’ve heard in a while).

MB is featured first, with 4 songs of experimental metal.  The lyrics are in Polish, so I can’t comment much there, but the music is very satisfying.  Take the riffs of The Sword or the heaviest parts of Alice in Chains, but add this weird, avant garde angle with some metal sax a la Bruce Lamont and you’re headed in the right direction.  I definitely want to hear more of this!  The final song from the band is a middle-eastern/eastern European sounding folk/dance tune with clean guitars, hand drums, and other folk instruments.

Up next are two new songs from Unteachers.  “If You Think” is actually a cover from obscure 90s indie rock band 274.  It features some pretty dark lyrics, reflecting on the human condition, including sin, depression, and how we pass those down from one generation to the next.  And yet the song is a plea for the help that comes through prayer, leaving an otherwise bleak tune with just a dash of hope.

I think I am depressing

I need you to pray for my thinking

I think I am disgusting

I feel I’m the only one lusting

I think I am perverted

You need to hear where I learned it

I think I am depressing

I need you to pray for my thinking

Final track “Spectre in the Nous” is pretty special.  The track starts with an almost gothic/post-metal vibe, and then hits a lengthy ambient, keyboard-driven section and finishes with some almost shoegaze-metal.  Just as I was thinking the tune had later Deliverance/Jupiter VI vibe, I found out that Jimmy Brown lent some background vocals to the cause.  Closest points of comparison are Faith No More’s later material (after they’d shed some of the funk influence), heavier Smashing Pumpkins tunes, as well as the aforementioned gothic-era Deliverance and Spy Glass Blue.

Released February 2022 on Love Your Enemies Records.

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