If you're going to have the stones to call an album "The Ultimate Destroyer" and kick it off with a track entitled "Juggernaut Of Metal," you had damn well better flatten the listener within the first few seconds, else you're nothing but a Heavy Metal poser. Well, make no mistake - LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR don't pose. Instead, they crush, disembowel, and defecate on your sorry remains before you even had the chance to know what you were in for. Aural mutilation has never been so much fun.
This album, the follow up to 2004's "Carnage," is dedicated to Metal. Literally - check the liner notes. Like that album, "The Ultimate Destroyer" is a bastard child of Black, Death, Doom, Sludge, Thrash, and good ol' Heavy Metal, all coagulating into a razor-sharp vortex of Extreme Metal Awesomeness. Though still quite rough, the production is cleaner this time around, which makes LAIR sound even heavier. On top of that, given the songwriting, the band is meaner, deadlier, and even more intense. The riffs are thicker, the drums pound harder, and Steve Rathbone's vocals, though a wee bit low in the mix, are even more evil and acidic. When you take into account that fact that "Carnage" was one of the must devastating albums of 2004, you'll realize that this album is no walk in the proverbial park. It's as if the band turned everything - the heaviness, the speed, the intensity - up a notch. From the sonic terror of "Behead The Gorgon" to the epic and filthy Doom of "The Hydra Coils Upon This Wicked Mountain," LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR are out to engorge you with unadulterated Metal. And unborn gore.
Bottom line - "The Ultimate Destroyer" flat out rules. If you like things that rule, buy it. 'Nuff said. (Online May 4, 2006)