The first new music in 12 years from reunited thrashers MANTIC RITUAL – featuring original members Dan Wetmore (vocals/guitars), Jeff Potts (guitars), and Ben Mottsman (bass) alongside new drummer Carlos Cruz (Warbringer, Exmortus, Power Trip) featuring the single “Crusader” with a b-side cover of the MERCYFUL FATE classic “Black Funeral.”
The early beginnings of MANTIC RITUAL were birthed in the band's hometown of Pittsburgh in 2005. Performing initially under the name Meltdown, the group began building a buzz with Northeast heavy metal fans over the next two years with their combination of boundless thrash enthusiasm and superb songsmanship. The band moved across the country to Los Angeles in 2007, where performances alongside leaders of the budding Southern California thrash revival such as Warbringer, Fueled By Fire, and Merciless Death earned them attention from discerning metal audiences and a record deal with Nuclear Blast Records.
The group soon changed their name to MANTIC RITUAL, and released their first – and so far only – full-length record “Executioner” in March 2009. The album received critical acclaim at the time of its release, with MetalSucks praising the band's “ability to display solid songcraft while maintaining a high-level of heaviness,” Blabbermouth taking note of their “passion, chemistry and intensity,” and the Washington Post noting that “MANTIC RITUAL’s old-school sensibilities act like a group hug that brings punks and headbangers together.”
MANTIC RITUAL followed up the release of “Executioner” with live touring alongside heavy metal titans such as Rotting Christ and Destruction, before dissolving in 2010. Potts and Mottsman later went on to join Warbringer for their 2013 release, “IV: Empires Collapse,” with Potts himself also performing on Gygax's 2018 release, “2nd Edition.” Potts, Mottsman, and Wetmore began writing and recording new music together - with Cruz now joining them on drums – in the beginning of 2021.