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Monday, June 30, 2008

Album Of The Day-Lair Of The Minotaur-"Carnage" (2004)

The Album Of The Day is "Carnage" by Lair Of The Minotaur.


The growing success of High on Fire has helped legitimize other bands wishing to pay homage to heavy metal's less refined but still historically important exponents of raw ferocity — and none do this with greater ferocity than Chicago's brilliantly named Lair of the Minotaur. Intentionally crude and lo-fi in its approach, the trio (which arose from the ashes of cult comedy-metal idols 7000 Dying Rats) follows in the paw prints of early thrash and black metal luminaries such as Venom, Bathory, and Hellhammer — bands whose very human deficiencies brought them down from the lofty pedestals of '70s dinosaur metal and helped endear them to young metalheads by giving them the confidence to start bands of their own. Those needing further clarification of this process need only look as far as album opener "Carnage Fucking Carnage," which finds vocalist Steven Rathbone doing his best Tom G. Warrior impression, while leading his bloodthirsty cohorts through a brutalizing sonic barrage owing much to Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost. So distorted and primal is their collision of guitar, bass, and drums, in fact, that it could very well double as the sound of bones being crushed upon a battlefield, and therefore provides a more than adequate backdrop for Lair of the Minotaur's lyrics, which are exclusively inspired by Greek mythology — how appropriate! Though they never amount to just one concept album-like thread, ancient legends invariably populate ensuing standouts like the frantically thrashing "The Wolf," the devastatingly heavy "Lion Killer," the amazingly violent "Warlord," and the two-faceted "Demon Serpent" (see its anomalous synthesizer coda). On the downside, the album is also authentic in its limitations, with the formula starting to wear a little thin on rather average (if still spectacularly named) offerings like "Caravan of Blood Soaked Kentauroi," "Enemy of Gods," and parts of the exceptionally doomy "Burning Temple." Hardly a perfect first outing, in other words, but to those metal heads wishing to relive their impressionable teenage innocence for just a few seconds once again, Carnage is a roaring success. (Eduardo Rivadavia & Tara Koetsã, All Music Guide)

Track Listing:

01. Carnage Fucking Carnage
02. The Wolf (mp3)
03. Lion Killer
04. Caravan of Blood Soaked Kentauroi (mp3)
05. Enemy of Gods
06. Warlord
07. Demon Serpent
08. Burning Temple


Official Website

Order "Carnage" here.

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