Manntra – War of the Heathens

Manntra - War of the Heathens



4.2/5 Pros

  • Very characteristic, intense listen
  • Good blend of folk, rock and hard rock Cons

  • Some monotonies

Monster Mind Consuming in 2021, Kreatura in 2022 – and now War of the Heathens. The 2023 album release is already the third one which I feature from the Croatian band Manntra, who do a music somewhere between rock, hard rock and folk. The first two reviews ended with a Top Pick! rating – so I was definitely looking forward to this set of eleven track, which has been released on 22nd September 2023.


Manntra – About The Artists

Manntra is a quartet from Umag in Croatia. They are active since 2011 and have been very active since then – War of the Heathens is already the band’s seventh studio album. After Kreatura, they also released a live album, Endlich! (Live in Hamburg). This also reflects their 2022 headline tour, which had very good sales. Compared to the previous studio album, the lineup of the band is unchanged with singer and keyboarder Marko Matjevic Sekul, guitarist Dorian Dodo Pavlovic, bassist Zoltan Lecei and drummer Andrea Kert. More bio can be found in the previous reviews.


Manntra – War of the Heathens – Track by Track

The eleven song album lasts 33 minutes.

1. The Hunter

I stand hereForsakenThe crossroads calling meI wanderThrough changesThe hunter in the dark

The album opens with the two songs, which have been released as singles first. However, The Hunter has in fact been the second song choronologically, when fans were could listen to it from 9th June 2023. A very nice and hymnic folk rocker, which is also using some more present synth elements towards its end.

2. Morana

The opening theme of Morana feels almost like a pop song. However, the dark and raspy voice of Marko Matjevic Sekul moves the song to the “right” direction. Later, the main theme is performed by a backing choir and rather adds a dramatic atmosphere. The chorus, though, has a strong folk touch.

3. Et In Peccatum

The ease of the Lei-lei-lei-lei-lei backing vocals by Andrea Kert in the chorus is adding a very nice flavor to Et In Paccatum. The song feels rather majestic and heavy and is another very nice hymnic write. Nice song, indeed.

4. Blackmoon

Similar to Morana, the first tunes of Blackmoon feel a bit of confusing, as they strongly reference a pop music style. The song stays rather rhythmic and melodic, even though the chorus feels more sleazy and rocking. Especially in the stanzas I would have loved to feel more energy.

5. Domain

After the rather limp BlackmoonDomain brings the album back on track. I would even say, the album reaches its peak, the fast and catching rhythm and guitar style drives the song, which is working towards one of the most present choruses of the whole War of the Heathens. The song is dealing with the human ego. My ego likes it.

6. The Witches Of St.Vincent

The sixth track takes us to The Witches of St Vincent. The song again rather feels to be a mainstream folk song at the beginning, but the rock heart of Manntra finally gets back in control with the chorus. Finally, the song even more and more reaches a climax with a very intense energy.

7. The Call Of Strigun

While I feel that there are rather strong similarities between certsain songs, The Call Of Strigun has its very own signature. The strumming guitars are a key element as well as the rather unique, pleading vocals.

8. Feed The Beast

Many songs of this album use easy vocal party. Like Feed The Beast, where the Nei-nei-nei is just limited enough to avoid feeling chumming up and too pop-ish. Overall, you do feel that Manntra is a rock band, but you don’t feel a hard rock attitude in here.

9. The Long March

It is a bit of a paradox part of the album that The Long March is in fact a 52 second short interlude. The track directly leads into the title track.

10. War Of The Heathens

Almost just the the drums and he leading vocals at the beginning of the title track – Manntra does surprise you at this listen again. However, the song turns into a very melodic and catching song, which also has some very atmospheric, harmonic, almost fairy tale-alike parts. Especially the beauty of the melody in the bridge feels a bit too much. But I still like this one.

11. Starkind

Starkind has been another single release. Now the August 2023 release takes over the duty of closing the album. The song is rather slow and urges us to slow down instead of adding more and more hate to our life. Really nice finale.


Manntra – War of the Heathens – Spotify

Here is War of the Heathens on Spotify


Manntra – War of the Heathens – My View

I simply like what these guys are doing. Manntra is creating a very characteristic and unique sound. The songs come with a good message without feeling too complex. Nonetheless, I feel that especially on the melodic side, I would have loved to have a bit more variety. Still a really nice listen.


Manntra – War of the Heathens Tour

On the release day, Manntra will play a show in Leipzig. For 2024, the following shows are confirmed:

Sa 16.03.2024 Munich (Germany) – Backstage
Su 17.03.2024 Münchenstein (Switzerland) – Rockfact
Th 04.04.2024 Warsaw (Poland) – VooDoo Club
Sa 06.04.2024 Hamburg (Germany) – Bahnhof Pauli
Sa 13.04.2024 Zagreb (Croatia) – Tvonica Kulture about Croatia

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