Let’s just say this isn’t at all what I expected from Lair of the Minotaur. Evil Power threw me a curve ball when I first listened to it. At the second track “Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers”, I promptly turned it off. It wasn’t until the other day that I finally gave the entire album a listen. At first, I thought the grindcore / blackened thrash group had gone a little too late 90’s hardcore for my taste. “Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers” just sat with me wrong; I couldn’t help but picture a bunch of guys in a mosh pit somewhere, wearing mesh shorts round-housing each other in the face while singing along to the hook. Luckily for the album and this review, “Riders of Skullhammer, We Ride the Night” really knocked Evil Power back on the trash track.
Read the rest of the review and watch the video for “Evil Power” below.
Warning, video is NSFW
Thrash isn’t a genre that cranks out epically-long songs, so that should be no surprise, but Lair of the Minotaur isn’t entirely thrash. A lot of their music would be categorized as stoner doom; but what doom songs are 1-2 minutes in length? Something doesn’t add up. This, along with the lack of complexity in their music, happens to be where I raise my only critique. Take the title-track “Evil Power”. It almost, let me emphasize that, almost, sounds like some kind of High On Fire collaboration. Chris Wozniak’s drum lines and the vocals of Steve Rathbone commands the track for the entire 2-minutes. It really should have been twice that length. To add to the semi-let down, “Goatstorm” is almost too formulaic. It’s like they said “we should do a blast-beat blackened thrash track and throw in some grindcore vocals to make 15 year olds kick holes in their bedroom walls. Oh and don’t forget the chugging riffs and nasty breaks in between screams”.
“Hunt and Devour” and “Metal Titans” are two other tracks of note, with the latter mixing it up with a nice d-beat throwback, even if only for a few minutes. “Blood From the Witch’s Vein” was one of my favorite cuts off the 30-minute long album until I heard “We Are Hades” and then, surprisingly, the tracks doubled in length. “Death March of the Conquerors” and “The Violent Iron Age of Man” finishes off the album. “The Violent Iron Age of Man” definitely sounds more doomish than any other track. The back-up vocals will send chills down your spine like nails on a chalkboard. If Evil Power sounded more like this track, this album would be an A+. We need more music like this. Seriously.
Even though “The Violent Iron Age of Man” has tainted my opinion of what Evil Power could have been, it’s still a great album. At a certain point, I have to stop comparing the modern acts to their predecessors and just appreciate talent for talent. Lair of the Minotaur’s discography is quickly becoming one of the “must haves” for any blackened thrash and grindcore fan.