Belgium’s Mantis Share Poignantly Immersive Post-Rock On Heavy New Album

Glint, the latest album from the Belgian “post-everything” group Mantis, feels like a brisk nighttime walk through familiar streets, with a sense of subtle revelry slowly settling in.

The music of Glint runs on powerful extended melodies, with impressively persistent, confident-sounding performances from the crew behind the record. Mantis perform a kind of melody-centric post-rock, and the group’s melodies truly feel rich, like the music is edifying. The grounded build-ups across Glint feel formidable and unmistakably compelling — for instance, “Hessian,” the record’s penultimate track, feels startlingly heavy, and the rhythms carry a vibe like watching the sun smoothly rise.

Mantis get rather intense at times, turning the album’s listening experience into something like a sonic runner’s high. “Coal Maze” opens on a particularly stormy, intense moment before kicking into a suddenly thinner haze of heavy bassline-driven tumult, after which dynamics continue to quite smoothly shift throughout the track, with a steady push towards some kind of subtly cathartic release.

Glint doesn’t feel overly focused on a single aim. Instead, Mantis sound like they’re unearthing a sense of some impressive raw power within everyday moments. There’s an inviting open-endedness in the sound, as if turning listeners’ gazes outward, towards the expansive yet vibrant night sky. Solidifying this sense of a space for self-contemplation, much of “Altamont” hinges on restrained, pensive rhythms, and “Now Forever” centers on a gently pulsating, warm synth that feels like the musical encapsulation of the persistent glow of a flickering streetlight alongside a truly peaceful piano melody.

The weight of the shadowy rhythms remains in place as Glint surges with glistening, teeming energy, as if the night itself has suddenly come to life. Although the melodies across Glint feel super solid and pretty much impeccably constructed, like a well-built house that feels primed to withstand an intense storm, there’s just enough of a kick throughout the whole experience to deliver a feeling of subtle unease. Perhaps there’s something in those metaphorical shadows, or perhaps the shadows themselves are somehow moving — Glint, overall, seems quite poignantly conscious of the broad scope of emotion at hand. The music memorably captures an experience of slinging to the outer confines of security before heading back into the center.

To take a cue from the cover art, which depicts an unassuming house exterior, Glint feels homely, in a way. There’s an unmistakable tempest in the sound, but Mantis also provide a sense of real security for the subtly awe-inspiring journey within their billowing music.

5/5 Stars

Listen below! Glint is available via dunk!records.