Rating:
7.5
Lair Of The Minotaur - War Metal Battle Master
25 March 2008


01. Horde Of Undead Vengeance
02. War Metal Battle Master
03. When The Ice Giants Slayed All
04. Slaughter The Bestial Legion
05. Black Viper Barbarian Clan
06. Assassins Of The Cursed Mist
07. Doomtrooper
08. Hades Unleashed


Lair Of The Minotaur are unabashedly METAL. Not just "metal", but all caps and bold METAL. Their name was even chosen partially with the intent of scaring (every metal fan's favorite villain/scapegoat) poseurs away. I can pretty much say with a good degree of certainty, it will keep the Spin-reading hipsters away.

As if the band's name wasn't obvious enough, LOTM crank it up to 11 when it comes to the song titles of their 2008 release, War Metal Battle Master aside from the title track, you have ditties like "Black Viper Barbarian Clan" and "When The Ice Giants Slayed All." (those were the days, weren't they? Life seemed so much simpler after the Ice Giants laid waste to everything. But enough reminiscing.) With song titles like that, your band better bring it.

And LOTM certainly does.

From the opening track, "Horde Of Undead Vengeance", the band goes pretty much full throttle and pound out anthems to chaos, war, and slaughter. Not in some glorified frilly flower-power metal manner that romanticizes the exploits of larger-than-life heroes and wise kings. Hell no. LOTM replace wussy things like narrators with balls, big balls of steel and power. (Steel being the left testicle, Power being the right.) These Minotaurs play a dirty, sludgy hybrid of thrash metal that encapsulates the chaos, blood, sweat, mud, dust, war cries and shrieks of anguish of the field of battle. War is not pretty, and neither are these songs.

And solos? Fuck solos. To paraphrase Jesse "The Body/The Mind/Insane former Ex-Governor" Ventura in Predator, when you are out slaughtering the bestial legion, you ain't got time to solo.

Pounding drums, pounding riffs, pounding vocals, there is nothing subtle to their approach. This is both a strength and the album's most glaring flaw. Taken singularly, having pretty much any of these songs show up on your random play list is a sudden jolt of energy akin to taking a pot of strong coffee, pouring in a couple of those sketchy energy drinks, adding a few ground up NoDoz, then mainlining the thing.

Yet taken one after another, it's such a never-ending cacophony and pounding blur that it loses impact and is rendered a wall of noise. "Doomtrooper" shows up late on the track list to slow the tempo down to a doomish crawl, but by then it's a bit late. The listener has already been fatigued by the constant sonic pummeling. Perhaps if a couple more songs adopted the "Doomtrooper" approach and were spread through the album, the occasional slowdown would help the rest of the crushing tracks retain their punch.

All in all, even though it's a bit unrelenting, it's still a worthy album that does live up to the expectations you'd expect from something titled War Metal Battle Master.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7


Band profile: Lair Of The Minotaur
Album: War Metal Battle Master


 



Written on 25.05.2010 by
Xnoybis
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by Xnoybis ››



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!J.O.O.E.! - 25.05.2010 at 02:46  
Lair of the Minotaur are a favourite of mine, despite knowing they aren't necessarily the strongest band around today, I think that's because they fill a particular thirst I occasionally have for meat and two veg - as you say - "METAL." I'm not sure I agree about the band needing to slow down occasionally, I'd rather think of them as an unstoppable juggernaut. I'm not even sure which album this is to be honest, they all sound pretty much the same.
Thryce - 25.05.2010 at 22:56  
Quite the ponderous album indeed. Though the vocals reminded me too much of Dexter Holland

Anyway, have you checked out their newest album, Evil Power, yet? Also nothing short of a killer release. This band crushes - pretty literally.
tulkas - 26.05.2010 at 04:22  
Gotta check this one out. Though the phrase "taken one after another, it's such a never-ending cacophony and pounding blur that it loses impact and is rendered a wall of noise" is totally right, and might also apply to previous works, I love the ear bleeding sensation this band gives me every time I listen to it.
deadone - 28.02.2014 at 07:25  
Totally agree with this review and especially this bit:

Quote:
Yet taken one after another, it's such a never-ending cacophony and pounding blur that it loses impact and is rendered a wall of noise.p



In the end it comes across as completely mindless. For something that's meant to be Metal, it's completely lacking in memorable riff and far too noisy.

I read an interview with them and heard one song on a comp and thought "that's not too bad."

Listened to the full album a couple of times - second just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. And it turns out I wasn't.

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