Lair Of The Minotaur - Ultimate Destroyer - 2006 - Southern Lord
1. Juggernaut of Metal 2. Behead the Gorgon 3. The Ultimate Destroyer 4. Lord of Butchery 5. Grisly Hound of the Pit 6. Cannibal Massacre 7. Horror 8. Engorged With Unborn Gore 9. The Hydra Coils Upon This Wicked Mountain
My God! Lair Of The Minotaur indents the world with their massive footfalls, leaving bodies and burning villages in a trampled mess. This is indeed "The Ultimate Destroyer", the perfect album title for what could be the perfect album. With this new venture, Lair Of The Minotaur tune down and crank up, turning an ordinary guitar mosh sound into a grinding, energetic explosion. The feelings and emotion from "The Ultimate Destroyer" is just one notch below a rollercoaster careening off track on the highest loop. This is mayhem. This is chaos. This is unbridled metal fury. This is all of those feelings, all of that suppressed energy, and all of that adrenaline boxed up, sealed tight, and armed for explosion once the plastic wrapping is ripped.
This Chicago band comes armed to the teeth, with this new album being their follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut aptly titled "Carnage". On this new record the band practice and perfect the sounds of old Metallica, Venom, Slayer, and of course Black Sabbath through nine healthy cuts of bombastic heaviness and wonder. With metal thrashin' mad cuts like the title track, Lair Of The Minotaur present to you their bastard child, their vision of speed versus groove, their monumental desire to create that epic doom monolith while still staggering the listeners with sheer speed. From the gate the group showoff a massive, doom laden hook firmly embraced by the backbone known as speed metal. On the opening cut, "Juggernaut Of Metal", the band run the gauntlet of doom, thrash, and melody, all deeply soaked in the finest of heavy metal brewings. More Sabbath sidewalk slams occur on "The Hydra Coils Upon This Wicked Mountain" as well as the bone shaking decapitation that is "Behead The Gorgon".
Through all of this mayhem and high octane affairs, singer Steven Rathbone goes from death metal rumblings to high pitched screams, almost sounding like Bon Scott plastered to a windshield at 120 miles per hour. While the whole album is obviously firmly rooted in the halls of metal's finest, I can still hear that sonic Swedish sensation sweeping through, almost recalling early Entombed or Unleashed on these cold, extreme riffs. Oddly enough Denmark's Dominus (now turned Volbeat) is the only real comparison I can come up with, as this record somewhat resembles the melodic death spectacle of Dominus' "The First 9".
Bottom Line - Highly recommended for fans of heavy metal. If there is a record heavier than this, then I have simply never heard it.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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