April 28, 2013 by Dan Swinhoe
This year’s Record Store Day was a bit of a disappointment. Yes in terms of sales it was the most successful, but it felt like there was a lack of pant-wettingly exciting exclusives of previous years. Very little in the way of exclusive splits, rare picture discs, or stuff that I’d be willing to part serious money with on eBay. But it did provide a gem in a new Lair Of The Minotaur release to coincide with their 10th anniversary.
Entitled the Godslayer EP, the Chicago-based band have laid low since 2010’s Evil Power. Limited to 300 7″ vinyls and digital, Godslayer sees LOTM harking back to their early days. The EP’s two tracks, The Black Heart Of the Stygian Drakonas and the title track, clock in at just shy of ten minutes and both tread similar ground; buzzsaw riffs, pummeling drums, Grecian themed lyrics. The staple stuff of LOTM music for the last ten years.
But the production is a lot more rough and raw than Evil Power, sounding closer to a demo in comparison. But this was the intension I recently interviewed LOTM guitarist/frontman Steven Rathbone, who explained the whole thing was recorded live in a couple of takes and mixed on the same day, in to get “a rawer feel. Big and ballsy.” Mission accomplished, it sounds savage.
War Metal Battle Master title-track video
Both tracks a filled with blackened sludge-laden groove, and throaty barked vocals, combining the retro aggression of Celtic Frost & Hellhammer riffs with Motorhead’s bombastic approach to rhythm sections. They’re relentless, dirty and soaked in the blood of your enemies.
Fans will be happy LOTM are back, and newbies who enjoy music that’s raw, aggressive and violent should have a listen. It may only two tracks, but after ten years, Lair of the Minotaur still slay like a war of mythical proportions.