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Manntis

Metalheads who can afford cable best remember Manntis as the group who finished third in MTV's reality show Battle for Ozzfest. But the Southern California-based quintet did not have to win to showcase their talents. Smartly signed by Century Media Records, Manntis' Sleep in Your Grave, proves who the better band was.

Combining an array of influences from Meshuggah to Pantera to Killswitch Engage, Manntis offers a brutally explosive and mature sound for such a youthful band. Elements of hardcore and grindcore are mixed with pure heavy and classic metal, displaying the group's respect for the bands that paved the way for them.

Most of the 11 tracks on Sleep in Your Grave are barely longer than two minutes--making each song an in-your-face experience with little room for fooling around.

Lead guitarist Adair Cobley, the band's representative on the MTV show, is a true talent. Tracks like "Axe of Redemption" and "Reflections of You" display a guitar sound that is somewhere between modern power metal and Judas Priest. Speaking of Judas Priest, the track "The End Is Where It Begins" is an acoustic piece written for Priest frontman Rob Halford during the Battle by Cobley and guitarist Jeremy Swanson.

Lead singer Jake Sirokman fronts the band with anger, sounding reminiscent of Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta. "My blood, my hands around your neck," Sirokman sickly grunts on "Shades of Hatred."

Most bands in Manntis' position would try to expand their 15 minutes of fame, but Manntis is here to front a new revolution in metal.

More by Jon Hobson

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