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NIGRO MANTIA- Poetry of Subculture Cassette (selfproduced, Denmark, 1984)

nigromantia_cover.jpgnigromantia_coverfull.jpgnigromantia_tape.jpgAt the very end of one year full of good, bad and goodbad music, here’s one of Metal’s best kept secrets for those of you who didn’t know. I had been struggling with myself whether I should share this or not, but since one of these superficial consumerist blogs recently had an awful 57th generation copy of this my most beloved tapes posted, I think I have no other choice …

Well, NIGRO MANTIA (“Black Arts” or “Black Magic”) were reviewed in either Thomas Schumacher’s crucial METAL PROPHECY or Roland Dähne’s masterful BLITZKRIEG fanzine in early 1984. I immediately ordered the cassette and received a friendly letter, a lyric sheet and the tape, of course. Unfortunately, the letter and maybe the lyric sheet too, was lost when I had a massive water damage in my old basement (it destroyed my complete collection of band correspondance from 1980 to ca. 1984, including letters from METALLICA, SLAYER, MANILLA ROAD, BLITZKRIEG, VENOM etc. etc., when these bands were still part of the undergrund circus). From what I remember, NIGRO MANTIA were preparing a self-financed album and weren’t really the type of guys to make a big fuzz about things. Unfortunately, the band totally vanished off the face of the earth, leaving nothing but this highly collectible cassette. Even in the old days, people either used to love or hate this and it won’t surprise you that I’ve always been one of the later kind, trying my best to make cassette copies of “Poetry of Subcultre”, but it seemed in vain, judging by the google results one gets for NIGRO MANTIA these days. Hope this will help a little in changing this sad situation.

As you can hear, NIGRO MANTIA had a totally unique musical concept. MERCYFUL FATE-like riffing, but of a very laid out, almost soundscape-ish dimension. The singer is somewhere out in space, “feeling the exploding orgasm”, as he sings. Stunning (dis-) harmonies, layers of musical texture, but all very held back, subtle. What also strikes me is that the whole thing doesn’t come over as “epic”, wagnerian Metal at all. There’s no “glory”, no pathetic expressionism, but a very, may I say, gentle introspection. Bands like RUSH come to mind quickly, but then again, this is not art rock whatsoever.
“Poetry of Subculture” stands there as one of the finest moments in the history of 80s Metal. Enjoy, ‘eadbangers. Good 2008 to y’all.

Bells ringing for the fatal Hour.mp3
Death Romance.mp3
Monolith of Infinity.mp3

As always, no Dolby was used here.

24 Comments

  1. Rivethead

    oh man another one I have never even heard of. brilliant songs totally unique! please more demos. insane collecton of music.

    all the best for 2008 erich!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 08:52 | Permalink
  2. devil in miss jones

    THIS IS AWESOME MAN!! LOVE THE VOX AND THE AXES. YEAH RUSH OR MAYBE MANILLA ROAD!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 08:58 | Permalink
  3. javier

    Thanks for giving the possibility to me for hearing this. Some body told me a while ago about this band and said it is godlike and yes it is. I heard they played with Mercyful Fate in Heavy Sound Festival in 1983.

    Good 2008 and thank you for the work!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 09:02 | Permalink
  4. Admin

    Glad you guys are liking this. It’s not music for everybody, I guess.

    JAvier: Unfortunately, NIGRO MANTIA did not play at the Heavy Sound Festival in Poperinge. Mercyful Fate played there in 1984 (with Motörhead, Metallica, H-Bomb and others I don’t recall at the moment) – I was there and it was KILLER!! Slayer played the year after, first out of USA gig ever, and I had been there too (even have photos of it somewhere in the basement). That was very very good too, one of the best moments in my life.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 09:06 | Permalink
  5. What a great way to start the New Year. Reminds me of M Fate, Candlemass, & Cirith Ungol (in a strange way). Enjoyed it so much loss track of time and am now late for work. Thanks for the great post, I was completely new to this band.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 13:33 | Permalink
  6. Jesus Erich, this trend of phenomenal music and horrifying vocals HAS to stop!

    It reminds me of Mighty Sphincter…AND I DON’T KNOW WHY!!!

    Send “the” tape?

    Respect!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 15:26 | Permalink
  7. Admin

    🙂 Sean – this trend just started; there’s more to come!

    “The” tape is packed and ready to go. Expect it by mid of next week. Do I have your adress in the paypal notification?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 15:37 | Permalink
  8. Awesome, thanks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 18:00 | Permalink
  9. Now that I´m listening to this I´m thinking Hawkwind meets Mercyful Fate. Never heard of these guys and this is great!! If you can provide more stuff like this you would make me very happy.

    Erich, what adress should I use to send you some cash with paypal? You give me so much on this blog I have to pay now.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 01-Jan-08 at 00:54 | Permalink
  10. Admin

    Yeah, Pär – a little Hawkind might be there too. Isn’t it a fantastic little piece of Metal.

    Thanks for offering a donation. You can use this email adress: erich at megawimp. com

    [Reply]

    Posted on 01-Jan-08 at 02:13 | Permalink
  11. Ollie

    As far as I know, one of the guitarists is a guitar tech now. A friend bought a guitar from his once and said it was the axe he used to record this demo. I have not heard this before and I must say I am very surprised! It’s extremly good and so much better than anything that comes out today in Metal. Fantastic site please keep it up.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 01-Jan-08 at 04:19 | Permalink
  12. Thanks for reminding me of these guys. I have a copy of the tape (which I probably got from you back in the eighties) out in the garage somewhere, but I hadn’t thought of it in years. Good to hear this again!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jan-08 at 18:39 | Permalink
  13. Frank Mossi

    BTW I just heard that somebody who downloaded this from here now wants to make a bootleg LP of it. As much as I love your work it also seems that you are providing material for bootlegers which is a shame.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 10-Jan-08 at 11:15 | Permalink
  14. Admin

    Well, what can you do, Frank. I guess this is just what will always happen with such music groups. Sooner or later, somebody will either be able to track down the members and release this properly (without ever selling more than a couple hundreds copies, I guess) or then somebody will sooner or later bootleg it. Let’s hope one of the band members sooner or later stopy by here and leaves a contact adress.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 10-Jan-08 at 11:44 | Permalink
  15. Michael Schweigler

    Hey guys
    Thanks for the interest and kind words.
    Cheers
    Michael – leadguitarist

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Apr-08 at 00:27 | Permalink
  16. Thanks for stopping by, Michael and of course for this great great music! As you probably know, I’ll be interviewing Jes. Will send the questions over to you, if you don’t mind.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Apr-08 at 00:35 | Permalink
  17. Michael Schweigler

    Well, I didn’t know! Feel free to do so – do you want me to answer the questions?
    Could you send the mail adress of Jes too?
    Cheers

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Apr-08 at 00:41 | Permalink
  18. Tsudrats

    Mega ThankS!!!!!!!!!
    I was looking this demo since 1987
    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! \mm/

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Aug-08 at 14:56 | Permalink
  19. Michael Schweigler

    I’ve been trying to locate you for so long to officially re-issue this on my label! Please email me @

    shadowkingdomrecords@hotmail.com

    http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com

    I talked to Jes and he said he didn’t own the copyrights to allow me to press it, but maybe you do?

    Thanks
    Tim

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Aug-08 at 10:18 | Permalink
  20. greetings from france i was searching for to listen that group since 84
    when i read a few lines on nigro mantia in uk metal forces zine their music is very mercyful fate oriented and for the harmonies it sounds like early candlemass to me as for the vocals it s a pity because they are out of tune from the guitars most of the time he speaks more than he sings too bad anyway megathanx to you for letting us hear this great undiscovered band cheers you lot stay metal to the bone ;;;

    [Reply]

    Posted on 09-Sep-08 at 06:13 | Permalink
  21. Par

    Listening to this right now again and this is sooo great!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 10-Apr-09 at 00:11 | Permalink
  22. Great band. Great songs. Cool to finally see the cover of a demo that I have been listening to since the mid eighties.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Sep-09 at 22:56 | Permalink
  23. Kuhlcher Korner

    GREAT MATERIAL!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    you’re welcome mate!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Sep-11 at 19:45 | Permalink
  24. thank you for this-its an exceptional record – and hard to find.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Feb-13 at 13:51 | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] to thank the awesome blogs, “Poetry of Subculture” for bringing this to my notice, and to “Good Bad Music for Bad, Bad Times” for supplying the rip of the original cassette. I suggest that all of you treat yourselves to […]

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