Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maze of Terror – Skullcrusher

From Lima, Peru come extreme thrashers Maze of Terror. “Skullcrusher” is their first release, and is the musical equivalent of being punched in the face for 25 minutes. There are some thrash bands that are great because they write memorable songs, but this isn’t the reason for Maze of Terror’s high quality. Instead, it is the sheer tenacity with which they constantly bombard you. The second track, “Hatred and Repression” is by far the best example. This song reaches some pretty insane tempos, and the delivery of the vocals does justice to the “hatred” part of the title. Vocalist Leviathan has some truly disturbed grunts. He utilizes the relatively popular blackened snarl that many of their South American counterparts love. Instrumentation-wise, this song is probably exactly what you expect: pounding drums (almost to the point of overkill), and vicious guitar riffs. There are also a surprising number of guitar solos, not just on this track, but on the entire EP. 

The other four tracks continue in a similar fashion, but none ever reach the heights of “Hatred and Repression”. Nevertheless, “Skullcrusher” remains an exercise in brutality. The drum tone ensures that the pummeling of Hammer’s snare is never forgotten. My typical complaint of this style of metal is that it’s often too repetitive and gets boring quickly, but Maze of Terror manages to avoid that for a few reasons. Firstly, this release is only 25 minutes; there simply isn’t enough time or material to get boring. The second main reason this release is great is because of the aforementioned guitar solos. They inject just enough variation into the remaining sonic destruction that you won’t find your interest waning. Finally, “Skullcrusher” is brilliant just because of the absurdity of it. Sometimes bands play so fast and with so much hatred and aggression that it’s almost comical. While I have no doubt that the band takes their music and lyrics seriously (as they should), this style of metal is perfect to throw on without having to think too hard. In a metal world where ever-increasing complexity seems to appeal to most, Maze of Terror shows that simplicity is best. “Skullcrusher” is a major winner, and is highly recommended for all fans of more brutal thrash metal.

Be sure to check out and like Maze of Terror on Facebook!

Highlights
"Damned To Eternal Pyre"
"Hatred and Repression"

Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Written by Scott

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