Reviews Lair of the Minotaur War Metal Battle Master

Lair of the Minotaur

War Metal Battle Master

It is now five years into Lair of the Minotaur’s existence and I think its safe to say that this band is not a gimmick or a novelty act in the least. Sure, their lyrics are based on Greek mythology and their sound harkens back to the 1980’s, but Lair of the Minotaur is the real deal. This three-piece is a menacing onslaught of metal ready to pulverize anyone that dares listen.

After two previous full-length efforts, Lair of the Minotaur return for their third such endeavor, War Metal Battle Master. While musically the album doesn’t mark such a departure from their previous sound, the album is their first with new drummer Chris Wozniak, replacing Larry Herweg, who left to focus on his touring duties with Pelican. Lyrically, the album still leans in the mythological direction, but there is another theme as this is, and I quote, “a concept album about solving conflicts with a big fucking axe!” Mixing the two results in some rather interesting and violent imagery.

Lair of the Minotaur immediately kicks things off with the mayhem of “Horde of Undead Vengeance.” The band meshes together classic thrash and death metal with the scathing screams of early black metal. The title-track follows and is more of the same. Lair of the Minotaur continues to bombard the listener with an unrelenting attack of blistering riffs, pounding rhythms, and menacing vocals. The only breather that occurs is that of “Doomtrooper,” a near ten-minute epic metal masterpiece. The pace of riffs is slowed to that of molasses. The dirge is ultra thick and heavy; this is some seriously heavy metal. The bruising and sonically fast “Hades Unleashed” closes out the album, a nice contrast to the preceding cut.

The production of Sanford Parker and Scott Hull is spot on for this style: gritty and raw. The artwork works quite well with the visuals created by both the music and the lyrics of the album. A lot of the times bands and labels fail here, but Lair of the Minotaur and Southern Lord handle this with ease.

Lair of the Minotaur is one of metal’s best-kept secrets. It’s kind of unfortunate to say that, but I don’t think its going to last much longer. War Metal Battle Master is a superb heavy metal record, one that will definitely help Lair of the Minotaur break through to a whole new world of fans.

8.0 / 10Michael
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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8.0 / 10

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