The Grind-House Records - 2010 - U.S.A.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first shall we? What the fuck is up with the cheesy-ass album title? Well, heavy fucking metal bitch, that’s what! Despite the laughable album title, and some juvenile song titles (“Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers”? Seriously?) Evil Power is actually a pretty badass album and encompasses a lot of what this reviewer enjoys about metal.
As I’ve mentioned before, metal song titles don’t lie. You know songs titled like “Attack of the Gods” or “We Are Hades’ are going to fucking slay, and indeed, Lair of the Minotaur do just on that on their fourth full length. You should expect nothing less from the guys who put out the music video for the title track of 2008’s equally-ridiculously (or awesomely) titled “War Metal Battle Master. Those of you who know what I’m talking about and have seen the music video should be grinning and nodding your heads knowingly. For those of you who aren’t in the know, go YouTube it and watch it in high-def ‘cos it’s got blood, violence, dismemberment of various body parts, and naked ladies covered in blood eating said body parts. Pretty sexy. Well, if you’re into that kind of thing. Go on, I’ll wait.
So yeah, back to the review. Lair of the Minotaur slay. Unlike 2008’s War Metal Battle Master which rocked longer tunes and some doom influence, Evil Power is pedal-to-the-heavy-fucking-metal-thrash. Lair of the Minotaur keep the tunes concise, with only a couple of songs going over three-minutes. The rest are a minute or two-sized sonic sucker punches of thrash with mid-pace swagger and stomp. It’s the perfect soundtrack to an evening spent burning villages and slaying witless peasants, or in real-world terms, headbanging drunkenly and moshing with your living room furniture. First track ‘Attack the Gods” opens with a blast of guitar feedback and noise reminiscent of hardcore or grindcore, before kicking into a full-blown thrash riff with groove to snap your neck headbanging to. The title track rides a simple double bass beat, tremolo riffs, and gut-rumbling bass with chorus screams of “EVIL POWER! EVIL POWER!”. “We Are Hades”, arguably the best tune of the album, rocks with a stone-cold badass d-beat swagger, gang vocals, beer-hoisting leads, and even a fucking solo.
The songwriting is excellent and fantastic production certainly also does Evil Power a big favor. The bass here is not only audible but packs a gnarly, raw, overblown behemoth of a tone. Guitar tone is perfectly hunky-dory and the distortion on the vocals adds a rougher edge to them. The hardcore shouts still sound awkward to this reviewer’s ears, but the black metal screams are fierce as ever, even more so with the added distortion. My only production gripe would be with the drums. Hi-hat and cymbals and need less ping and more crash. Anyways, that’s just me bitching again. Go out and buy the damn album already. Oh yes, and let’s hope they make another music video with more blood, violence, dismemberment of body parts, and naked ladies covered in blood eating dismembered body parts. Cheers. Stay classy everybody!