Don’t sleep on this new record from Mantis the Miasma. It was released on June 12th this year, and is the second album I’ve heard from Mantis in 2021. The first one was called Miasma Theory, and it was entirely produced by Iceberg Theory. It was kind of mediocre to me overall, but I saw that there was potential because I really dug Mantis’ writing. I just wasn’t crazy about his flow at the time, but it sounds like he’s vastly improved his cadence with this latest project.
The first song I heard from it was the Sleep Sinatra collab, Twisted Colossus. I wrote about it earlier this year in one of my Best Singles of the Week posts.
I’ve been kinda lukewarm on Mantis the Miasma’s work in the past, but this is easily my favorite song that I’ve ever heard from him. I think his production here is great, and same goes for the opening verse from Sleep Sinatra.
Trained specialist, you'll get maimed effortless
My strength present in the pain that I'm centered in
Developing the gains like weight lifters
Used to lift weight, but the word payments way slicker
Remain a blizzard I'm cold with it
Niggas wanna trip and get your soul lifted
I'm going the whole distance, every 16 is hieroglyphics
Like I was Del, I'll cast a spell to leave your mind twisted
The references to Non Phixion and Del the Funky Homosapien were tight. The second verse from Mantis was really nice too. His flow has a sense of urgency that was absent from that of Sleep. I think this is one of the best performances I’ve heard from him.
You misread box office tickets, this is not B. A. Baracus
This is Hannibal Lecter, eating your Faceman, get put to rest in coffins
Howlin' Mad Murdock, as a mind doctor, sound like I've been signed to Rawkus
I came from dirt and roaches, you were born gifted with options
My moccasins hard to walk in, my life is an endless nocturne
Been depressed incessantly, but never slitting my carpals
I think the song is really dope. That cover art is fire too. Check the song out and let me know what you think.
The second track is entitled Atmospherics, and it has what might be my favorite beat on the whole album. It’s really weird, but chill at the same time. I love it. The first verse from Mantis is really nice too. I liked that reference to Egon from Ghostbusters.
Plasma state personified, I orchestrate a peerless show
Harold Ramis when I bust the spirits out, a fearless glow
The second verse is dope too, and I actually think he sounds pretty good singing the outro of this track. It kinda reminded me of Doseone a little bit. I think a Doseone feature would sound amazing over this beat. The song is really dope to me overall. I think I like it even more than the Sleep Sinatra collab. The following track, From the Ashes, is even better. I love the dark, kind of arcane-sounding production, and the first verse from Mantis is super well written.
Seize the throne to reach where only Jesus and Caesar known
Meet your maker, teach the fakers leading 'em to thinking domes
Reading Homer's Iliad to silly lads expanding minds
Feeding fam, understand the value of the pantomime
This track has a really weird sung hook that I like a lot, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. The icing on the cake of this track is the feature from Defcee, who of course killed it.
The term “dark arts” is quite backwards
All that occult shit is white magic
Colonizers callin voodoo rites savage after
Spillin island blood 'til every member of the tribe Catholic
A tipped scale and a fine balance
Your ship sailed along the Y axis
How you still making lateral moves
Behind the line of scrimmage expecting we'll pass it to you
I like how there’s not really any percussion on this track. I feel like Iceberg Theory would fit over this beat really well. The beat just sounds really cryptic and mystical. I think the song is dope as hell overall. The following track is very special because it features a posthumous guest feature from Scorcese Lorde Jones. It’s called Paladin, and it has another one of my favorite beats on this album. I love the way the instrumental builds up here. Once again, it sounds pretty weird, but in a cool way. The first verse from Mantis is tight, but it’s really the posthumous Scorcese feature that pushes the song to the next level for me. It’s just nice to hear from him again. The song is really dope. There are a lot of other really dope collaborations on this project, including ones with Lt. Headtrip, Darko the Super, Iceberg Theory, Tokyo Cigar, 2 Dolla Will, EYESWIDESHUT, and Vic Spencer. Darko the Super probably had my favorite verse out of all of them, but they all did a great job. One more song that I wanna highlight is Smoking Heart. This is my favorite track on the album just because I think the beat is amazing. The way Mantis incorporated the sounds of car horns was really cool to me. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before, but I just think it was really well executed here. The verse from Vic Spencer was really nice too. The song is dope as hell to me.
This album is pretty good. I think it’s a massive leap in quality compared to the preceding project. The odd beats on this album had me hooked, and same goes for the features. I don’t think there’s a single bad verse on this project. The writing is really cool, and same goes for the production. I don’t think Mantis has the best voice for rapping, and his flow still isn’t gonna blow anyone away, but this project has me interested to see what he does next. I feel like he’ll hopefully continue to improve even further not only as a rapper, but as a producer as well. Give this project a listen and let me know what you think. It’s pretty good in my opinion.