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The inevitable regeneration of Lord Mantis occurred when vocalist / bassist Charlie Fell and guitarist / vocalist Andrew Markuszewski decided to mend ties and once again join forces in a new, renewed union to properly carry on the Lord Mantis legacy—mired in chaos and virulence—by honouring the memory of late drummer / founder Bill Bumgardner, with their new album Universal Death Church. With guitarist Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams fame (who also joined Lord Mantis on Death Mask) and new drummer Bryce Butler, along with honorary vocalist / member Dylan O’Toole of Indian, Universal Death Church is the result of a band who has overcome dark and chaotic chapters and bitter internal feuds to set out once again to raise the bar of extreme music after the suicide of a key founding member. This album sees the group with a new sense of purpose and focus. More developed and immeasurable, vast and towering, it continues the doomed and blackened depraved metal paradigm that has become the signature resonating palpitation surrounding the Lord Mantis sound. The threading between punishing, torturous yet direct, and, at times, tangible industrial-influenced riffing with the more abstract, dark, blackened surreal-like crawling and swift passages paint a new disturbing sonic portrait for the band. This renewed union became akin to that of repairing tissue of an unnamable and vile organism. Leveling up the beast. Having that infamous reputation of being one of the more vexed acts within the extreme metal scene, as amassed on previous releases such as 2012’s Pervertor and most-notably their 2014 controversial Death Mask, Universal Death Church ups the Lord Mantis ante in pretty much every category: the intensity, darkness, heaviness, and, of course, the deviance and degeneracy.