Pittsburgh’s Mantic Ritual return after thirteen year absence to grace out ears with an album of classic thrash tunes. Heart Set Stone is a rather quick release of six songs that feels like it ends as quickly as it begins, but these twenty minutes are packed with toe tapping and memorable hooks that will satisfy any fans pining for the days of the Bay Area’s dominance on the scene.
While Mantic Ritual‘s sound can easily be pigeon holed as a throwback novelty, a deeper listen reveals nuances that are easily missed on first glance. These songs maintain their vintage feel while moving that classic sound forward into a new era. Blazing riffs entertain throughout and for me personally are the real highlight of this album. Vocals can feel a bit outdated, but with repeat listens, I found myself coming to appreciate them, with a strong hint of Iron Maiden‘s underappreciated Paul Di’Anno breaking through the mix.
All in all, Heart Set Stone is a very enjoyable set of songs. It is quite short, which I feel is detrimental to the release, but it’s still fun as all hell. Highly recommended.
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