When I wrote about the second Lord Mantis full-length, Pervertor (Candlelight), in March, I said that it “puts me in mind of a huge rampaging machine from the Matrix movies.” The machines I was picturing are called Sentinels—flying squidlike hunter-killers that pursue our heroes through the abandoned sewer tunnels of the “real” world. Lord Mantis’s sludgy, demented black metal has an obsessive rhythmic drive and a busily mechanical feel, but more important it’s suffocatingly, apocalyptically hateful. If you were to render a Sentinel as music, it would sound like this: like a monstrous, frighteningly nimble robot that travels in swarms, its clusters of eyelike sensors glowing an evil red as it sweeps implacably through a ruined subterranean labyrinth to find and eradicate the human virus infecting what remains of the planet. I saw Lord Mantis at the Cobra Lounge in April, and even through that small room’s modest sound system they put on the most overwhelming show I’ve seen from a Chicago band all year.