War Metal Battle Master...man, you gotta just love that title, which pretty much sums up Lair of the Minotaur's third release quite well. This is some crushing Sabbath/Cathedral styled sludge metal, an 8-song affair filled with bone crunching guitar riffs, pounding rhythms, and a myriad of hardcore and metal flavored vocals. At just under 40 minutes, this slashing & bashing release moves along quickly, each song battering you over the head with thick, inventive guitar riffs and bombastic bass lines, as the doom/stoner/sludge influences collides with thrash rhythms for a wild and chaotic ride. You can almost hear a certain black metal side to the band on "Horde of Undead Vengeance" and "Black Viper Barbarian Clan", complete with lethal screams, raging riffs, and non-stop blast beats. The real kicker here is the near 10-minute "Doomtrooper", which starts off with some haunting synths before waves of crushing doom guitar dirges bash you over the head like some long forgotten riffs from Masters of Reality. Add in some evil death growls and black metal shrieks on this one, and you have a real bruiser of a piece that shows how truly monstrous and frightening this band can sound when they really want to. The band's straight jump to traditional hardcore sounds on "Hades Unleashed" are less interesting (although there are some cool guitar licks on this one), but overall this is another solid release from this hard working band from Chicago.
01. Horde Of Undead Vengeance
02. War Metal Battle Master
03. When The Ice Giants Slayed All
04. Slaughter The Bestial Legion
05. Black Viper Barbarian Clan
06. Assassins Of The Cursed Mist
08. Hades Unleashed