Lair of the Minotaur
posted on 4/2010 By:
First things first: I have always considered myself to be a fan of Lair of the Minotaur. Their first three full-lengths brought no-bullshit, balls-heavy, metal-to-the-bone, sludged-up thrashness, especially 2006’s fuckawesome The Ultimate Destroyer. They were never primed to win any awards for album of the year, nor were they expected to revolutionize underground metal in any way, shape or form, but their ability to take the beloved traits of bands like Celtic Frost and Slayer and dirty them up to the nth degree was an incredibly endearing quality to my ears. I always expected them to maintain this level of dependability, and even when I questioned their versatility as songwriters or musicians, I never questioned their sheer fuckin’ metalness.
That is, until now. And boy am I questioning it now.
Evil Power is a lazy, tepid, and thoroughly bland affair. By the 25th time you’ve heard the hook in album-opener “Attack the Gods,” it becomes painfully evident that Lair of the Minotaur had a terminal shortage of riffs and inspiration when putting these songs together. The hook is in the verse, the chorus, the post-chorus, and even the outro, and yet the song still finds a way to be one of the album’s better tracks. Matters worsen with “Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers,” a song not only devoid of real riffs, but also containing lyrics more god-awful and unlistenable than the title implies.
Strewn throughout this half-hour are similar failures: a lack of good ideas, the existence of terrible ideas, or the repetition of decent ideas ad nauseum. Some songs display an enjoyably heavy groove at the beginning but go absolutely nowhere, often maintaining the same feeling and tempo until you forget music is even playing. Others which could be album highlights end before they are allowed to gain any steam, such as the Frosty “Metal Titans.” The quintessential Lair of the Minotaur doom slot is represented here with “Death March of the Conquerors.” It is easily one of the album’s more memorable songs, but is still far below previous buckets of molasses like “The Hydra Coils Upon This Wicked Mountain.”
What really hurts Evil Power is that the band themselves seem to hate this material. There is barely an ounce of passion heard throughout the album, a surprising flaw as their pure heavy metal charm has always been their primary virtue. Even the production is flat compared to past efforts. The music is so transparent that it made me second-guess my own taste for Lair of the Minotaur. A quick blast of “Cannibal Massacre” fixed that impression, but it didn’t fix this mess. There is simply too much good metal out there to buy this steaming pile based on band loyalty.
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