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Lair Of The Minotaur
War Metal Battle Master

Company: Southern Lord Recordings
Release: 2008
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: Grim Gaijin

  • Epic metal masterpiece



  • When the opportunity arose for me to review the latest Lair of the Minotaur release, the thing that drew me in the most was that they are a part of Southern Lord Recordings. With their massive catalog of some of the heaviest material ever recorded, Southern Lord has quickly become one of my top 3 favorite record companies. Having never heard Lair Of The Minotaur before, I knew I was in for a treat of some of the heaviest metal around. However, what I did not know was that LOTM is an extremely aggressive thrash metal band, leading to a new metal sub-genre known as Aggro-Thrash. Imagine if the thunderous sounds of Neurosis, the manic riffs of early Celtic Frost & Voivod, and the intensity of Goatwhore collided into a massive wall of sound. What you would come up with is the third album by LOTM--War Metal Battle Master. I don't know how I let this one slip by me in 2008, otherwise it would have been in my top 5 list of metal albums for that year.

    Wasting no time, Lord of Undead Vengeance is a relentless track of brutal riffs, pounding drums and sick vocals. Next comes War Metal Battle Master with a very thick sound and blackened death style vocals. Continuing the mayhem, When The Ice Giants Slayed All starts off with a crust core-like intro which eventually shapes into a South of Heaven-era Slayer guitar riff. Although at a slower pace than the previous tracks, it is no less intense and brutal. The next song, Slaughter the Bestial Legion, has a classic 80's thrash attack sound with more sick vokills. The next song, Black Viper Barbarian Clan, could probably have Fenriz & Nocturno Culto (of Darkthrone) thrashing around violently in their recording studio. One of the fastest tracks on the CD, it shows a good mix of Black Metal and Sludge Metal in just a little over 3 minutes. Assassins Of The Cursed Mist sounds like it could be off of a Kreator album. Doomtrooper, at just under 10 minutes, is an epic track of brutal, doom-like riffs that would make the members of Crowbar jealous (for not coming up with them first), and extremely sick (and low key) death metal vocals. Homage to Celtic Frost can easily be heard in this song. The final song, Hades Unleashed, is one of the fastest and heaviest songs on the album. With Deicide-like riffs and headache-intense drumming, Hades Unleashed completes the statement that Lair Of The Minotaur successfully achieved on this album--creating a crushingly aggressive thrash metal album that will not be easily forgotten.

    Southern Lord continue to push the boundaries of extreme music by releasing some of the most intense albums ever made. Lair of the Minotaur definitely makes sure of that with their epic metal masterpiece, War Metal Battle Master. Whether you're a fan of Southern Lord Recordings or not, War Metal Battle Master is an album that can be enjoyed by fans of genres of metal. I can only imagine what these guys are like live. If it is anything like their studio releases, no one is safe! Check them out now!


    About this Writer:
    David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Ultimate DestroyerLair Of The Minotaur
    2006
    Eric Compton4/25/2006
    War Metal Battle MasterLair Of The Minotaur
    2008
    David Loveless5/30/2009
    War Metal Battle MasterLair Of The Minotaur
    2008
    Raising Iron7/25/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR
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