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Minotauri : Minotauri

After two 7"s ('Pain Of Life', 'Satan In Man'), a split 7" (with Reverend Bizarre) and a 10" EP (not to mention their total of 6 demo CDs), Minotauri from Finland return with their debut, self-titled album on Black Widow Records. For those who do not know, Minotauri are into old school traditional doom metal in the vein of Pentagram, Pagan Altar and Witchfinder General. That means that the heavy riffs, the haunting traditional doom melodies and the "deep into the underground" philosophy (musically and generally as well) are the main features of the band, features that can be found on their debut as well.

The album opens with the song 'Singing in the Grave' which is my opinion the best track of this record, slow and haunting. The song that follows is called 'Black Chakras'. It is faster than the previous one with a slight NWOBHM touch and it is also one of the strong moments on this album. 'Nuclear Siren' comes next and is a typical slow and doomy song with nothing special to offer in my opinion. 'Devil Woman' (which was also the title of the band’s 2000 demo) is another interesting song. The keyboards create a nice atmosphere mixed with the doom riffs of the song; a nice mid-tempo track. After 'Devil Woman' the listener will hear –the also NWOBHM inspired- 'My Way'. An up-tempo song that fits very well with the following song, 'Black Stobber' which is also faster. The album closes with the songs 'Doom Metal Alchemy' and 'Lover From The grave', two songs in a slower tempo and with a more doomy musical background, especially the last one that reminds a lot of Black Sabbath mixed –again- with some NWOBHM elements.

Here I must say that there is also some bonus material on the record: the songs from the 'Pain Of Life / Violence' 7" (2000) and the songs from the 'Doom Metal Invasion' 10" (2002), which, in my opinion, are by far the best releases by this band. There's also the track 'Paid Love' (from the 'Doom Metal Invasion' 10" EP) in a live version.

Minotauri always managed to find a way to create great old-school doom metal with some 'Sabbath and NWOBHM touches. This record has some very interesting moments as well, but in many songs I can notice a lack of inspiration. After hearing the album again and again I am left with the feeling that some specific parts of some songs would be better if the band had worked more carefully on them. Another part that needs improvement is the lyrics of the band. They – sometimes - sound too simplistic and I think that doom metal is a genre that the lyrics should be deep and more esoteric. Maybe the band should make a flashback to the year 2002 when they released that great 'Doom Metal Invasion'. With this EP they proved that if they want, they can create highly inspired doom metal, with good lyrics and an old-school atmosphere. I am sure that their next step will be much better. This album is for sure a strong promise but not what the band is fully capable of.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Singing in the Grave
2. Black Chakras
3. Nuclear Siren
4. Intro / Devil Woman
5. My Way
6. Backstabber
7. Doom Metal Alchemy
8. Lover from the Grave
9. Cemetary Shadows (bonus track)*
10. Frustrated (bonus track 2)*
11. Paid Love (bonus track 3) *
12. You will Learn (bonus track 4) *
13. Pain of Life (bonus track 5) **
14. Violence (bonus track 6) **
15. Paid Love (Live) (bonus track 7) ***

* from the 'Doom Metal Invasion' 10".
** from the 'Pain of Life/Violence' 7".
*** from the 'Funeralive' demo CDr.

Duration : Approx. 74 minutes

Visit the Minotauri bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Chris Papadakis
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