AlbumsNovember 29, 20118,289 views

Lair of the Minotaur The Ultimate Destroyer

1. Juggernaut of Metal 2. Behead the Gorgon 3. the Ultimate Destroyer 4. Horror 5. Grisly Hound of the Pit 6. Cannibal Massacre 7. Lord of Butchery 8. Engorged with Unborn Gore 9. the Hydra Coils upon this Wicked Mountain
2006 Southern Lord Records
Our score 8


Without engaging in a historical diatribe on the stylistic elements of metal based on country of origin, anyone remotely familiar with metal trends over time understands the trademark differences between American and European metal. Some of the pioneering American bands (think Slayer) helped create a sound that is distinctly American, whereas more recent European bands have structured a sound that has not only been recognized as something very distinct from the American sound, but has also been eagerly adopted by many newer American bands in favor of other styles. The result, without harboring any regional biases, is a decline in the American sound. Despite the trends, we can thank the metal gods for bands like Lair of the Minotaur, who continue to bear the torch of the American style of metal, and who do so creatively and well. Chicago's native sons Lair of the Minotaur are not strangers to the history of metal and it's abundantly clear with their newest release, The Ultimate Destroyer, that they wear this with pride on their sleeves. Similar to their influences, they remain true to their previous releases (one full-length and one EP, both for Southern Lord) while still maturing. Prominent on The Ultimate Destroyer is the relative increased focus on songwriting. The band's progression is easily seen: Carnage was well done, the Cannibal Massacre EP further displayed the band's capabilities, and the newest offering should leave no listeners in doubt. The intensity and riff structures of bands like Slayer and Obituary are certainly present, whereas slower classic doom elements from the likes of Trouble and Saint Vitus are also present, though not as prevalant as on Carnage. I do not intend to suggest that Lair of the Minotaur is simply copying the aforementioned bands, because the musicians certainly breathe new life into these stylistic ideals. Fans of Lair of the Minotaur will instantly recognize familiar elements on the new album. The overall production is still raw and powerful, though slightly improved when compared to previous releases. Every individual component in the band, from the abrasive guitar, powerful bass, relentless vocals invoking ancient mythological themes, and driving drumming seem to meld into one cohesive force suggesting that the band is maturing together. The songs all fit under one stylistic guide, though as mentioned before, the songwriting seems to have improved on this newest offering. In other words, the songs are unique and distinct enough that listeners will not only keep their attention throughout the duration of the album, but that they will return to it time and again for repeat listens. Bottom Line: Lair of the Minotaur is a band that observes the history and ritual of metal without acknowledgment of current trends and without falling into the trap of cookie cutter songwriting. The result is an extremely solid and impressive release that should be acknowledged by fans of all kinds of metal.


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ofgo_ 5/12/2006 10:15:19 PM

Fiiiiiiiiiiirst.. you bitches.. Never heard them.. I'll try to dig'em

Farty McFartinson_ 5/12/2006 10:29:31 PM


smokeoutloud_ 5/13/2006 12:49:42 AM

thank you ASH, i'm only back to see the review of this album, and, well, you did ok, maybe a 10/10, b/c as SLK said long ago, if you don't listen to Lair, you have no f*cking balls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

infect the wound_ 5/13/2006 3:49:21 AM

What i've heard of this is amazing, only a matter of time before everyone is hanign off their nuts.

picturesofme_ 5/13/2006 11:06:18 AM

this is an excellent album. glad to see it got a good score. very quality.

generic_gimmick_ 5/13/2006 5:35:05 PM

*hangs off said nuts*

phil_ 5/13/2006 5:42:29 PM

probley the best band in metal as of right now, cd is heavier than whale testicles

holycitybradley_ 5/13/2006 7:51:48 PM

I thought this cd was mediocre and sounded like any thrashy metal band. 6/10 max

YouAreHearingMeTalk_ 5/13/2006 8:40:32 PM

Anyone who can claim that there has been a decline in American metal is an idiot. USBM is getting more and more popular, so is the "brutal death metal underground" like Deeds of Flesh and Gclimax and "newer" American bands like Lamb of God and Killswitch and virtually the new nu metal. Two of the only European bands off the top of my head that are actually breaking new ground are Dominion and Spawn of Possession.

Chris_ 5/14/2006 7:20:56 PM

^^^^f*cking tool

[x]-breed_ 5/14/2006 11:38:20 PM

i can hear what his say. dudes got great voice

godless_ 5/15/2006 1:32:18 PM

good review ash. lotm f*cking rules.

7oM_ 5/15/2006 7:29:12 PM

Wow... this is f*cking terrible... I've seen more musical talent in a high school battle of the bands, which is what this shit sounds like. The drummer should be f*cking shot for not being able to keep one of the simplest beats ever. His snare rolls are laffable at best. Drop the drummer, learn how to play more than 2 riffs through an entire song, then put out another album. This is the kind of cd that gets an 8/10 that makes lambgoat look like a f*cking shit page... It's nice to see a

7oM_ 5/15/2006 7:34:33 PM

I forgot... You shouldn't like a band because of how easily you can copy their shit music on your own instrument, you should like a band because it's near impossible to recreate the musical genius. Somebody, honestly give me examples of why you love this cd... I want to hear exact details of what gives you goosebumps when you listen to this shit. K Thx GG

YouAreHearingMeTalk_ 5/15/2006 10:57:59 PM

Yeah, well Chris, I'm sorry I'm not a comic genius like the rest of you friggin morons. Perhaps I should have made a "BREE" joke or reffered to some random person as a "gay" or something like that to gain the acceptance of you f*cking one trick ponies. Or perhaps it was just f*cking ignorant or naive of me to come on a music news website and expect somebody to be interested in discussing music instead of throwing horribly uncreative insults at complete strangers and posturing like some Old Na

cryptic_skaughter_ 5/15/2006 11:08:26 PM


MichelGoulet_ 5/16/2006 8:08:04 AM

Pire osti de drummeur de tous les temps.

7oM_ 5/16/2006 3:23:18 PM

Youarehearingmetalk is a genius. He hit the nail right on the head... But yea, this cd sucks as I will state for the 2343th time. Excited to see BTBAM tomorrow night w/ ABR.. Going to be sick.. Oh.. Wait, no it won't.. Someone told me on another messageboard that they're "st00pid metalcore bands".. apparently black/death metal is the way to go.. coulda fooled me. Wayne's World.. Wayne's World...

xtroyx_ 5/17/2006 10:40:22 PM

this is an excellent record. i don't fully understand some of the above arguements though. as far as i know, anyone can shred on a guitar, and create some of the fastest drum beats ever heard, but crafting a memorable 4 minute song takes a little more than just playing the fastest tech metal parts. to each their own, but the above stated they were stoked on btbam - its different genre, and i understand why you may not llike a metal sound that is older than the sound that has been crafted the las

frank beans_ 6/23/2006 4:40:01 PM

These guys are the balls. i love this album. Pretty good review too. I just disagree the statement that this has a "distinctly American" sound. Two of LOTM's biggest influences, along with slayer, are Venom from the U.K. and Celtic Frost/Hellhamer from Switzerland. Your bottom line hits the nail on the head mr.ash.

grindcore_ 8/4/2007 6:55:40 PM

posted by YouAreHearingMeTalk Spawn of Possession is from Sweden, dumbass.