Maze Of Torment - Hammers Of Mayhem - 2004 - Black Lodge Records
1 Beyond The Infernal Gates 2 F.O.E. (Face of Evil) 3 Hammers of Mayhem 4 Dead Cold Blood 5 Servants of Menace 6 Into The Bloodswarm 7 Tyrannizer 8 The Dead Temple Prayer 9 Dead Soul 10 Catharsis 11 In League With Satan (Venom-cover)
Maze of Torment is a death/thrash entity that hails from Sweden. Upon reading their bio I was quickly amazed at the hardships and total disrespect they have received from various record labels. “Hammers of Mayhem” is the 5th release from this talented horde that strikes with true metal might. Although new to my ears, the band’s history can be traced back to 1992. The band’s name was changed from "Harmony" to "Torment" in 1995. Because of a dispute over the right for the name they became Maze of Torment in 1996. Released in 2004 on Black Lodge record label, “Hammers of Mayhem” is the fifth release on as many labels for this Swedish underground band.
“Beyond the Infernal Gates” is the opening track to “Hammers of Mayhem”. Without warning the song strikes with a swift kick to the groin and never lets up. Upon my first listen, I immediately thought of great bands such as Sadus and Defleshed. After multiple listens I could hear influences by old school greats such as Venom and Kreator seeping out of my speakers. The music is fast and furious with guitar riffs that drip with hate and torment. Guitarist Pete Flesh’s shredding lead guitar work is complex with descending runs and melodies that will lead you to the very depths of a blackened soul. The drums are tight and fast. Drummer Kjell Enblom executes excellent double bass work that is placed in just the right spots and he can blast beat or groove with the best of today’s top metal drummers. The vocals have an aggressive, blackish tone with hints of Kreator and classic Venom. The vocals are very hateful and one can just feel the intensity of the rage brewing inside singer Erik Sahlström. Erik could scream for a Black Metal, Death Metal or Thrash band. I hear tones of all three genres in his voice. From start to finish this is a very strong release that ends with a crushing cover of “In League with Satan”.
This is about as metal as it gets but the line up has changed since the release of "Hammers of Mayhem”. Guitarist Pete Flesh and Bassist Kalle Sjödin have left the band. According to the official website “The new members are Viktor Hemgren (also in Lucien, ex Mårnegarm, ex Sorg), Rickard Dahlin (ex Sorg) and Cloffe Caspersson (known from Stockholms only rock radio station 106, 7 Rock Klassiker).” If you are a fan of bands such as Sadus, Kreator, Defleshed and old Slayer then by all means get your metal fist pumping and raise your horns to this fine metal release. All hail the Maze of Torment!!! They are a force to be reckoned with.
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