Released: 2005, Black Lodge/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Maze of Torment seems to have had the same problems as another Swedish band Sabaton had. It all began back in 92 but under the band name Harmony. The founder was Kjell Enblom and the band released a few demos. The band became Torment in 95 and they recorded a promo CD in the Unisound Studio which landed them a contract the following year and the debut was also recorded in Unisound called THE FORCE. But still in 97 the debut wasn’t released and if that wasn’t enough the guys were forced to go through another name switch, at the same time the search for another label began.
A new label was found and a new album recording took place in Sunlight Studio, the name of the new album was FASTER DESASTER and Pehr who handled both the bass and the lead vocals focused now only on the voice. Shortly after that Pehr left the band and Erik Sahlström took over the vocal department.
But the problems were not over yet for the band, due to some really bad distribution the search for another label started once again. 2000 saw the birth of album no 3, DEATH STRIKES, and it’s about now Peter leaves the band and is replace by Kalle. In 04 the band sign on for Black Lodge and the fifth album is recorded.
HAMMERS OF MAYHEM was recorded back in 03 together with Tommy Tägtgren as a producer in the Abyss Studio. The band financed the album by themselves with no back up from any label at all. They made a good choice of producer because always when Tommy are around he does some brilliant work and this production are no exception to that rule.
The band doesn’t want to be taken as a retro band but sorry guys I have to make you disappointed because that I definitely think that you’re playing death/thrash metal as it sounded in the beginning of the 90’s when the big wave hit Sweden and the rest of the world. Maze of Torment’s music is intense, aggressive, incredibly brutal and keeps up an enormous speed through the whole album. The one thing that keeps the band a bit outside the frame of the usual death/thrash metal is that Erik shifts in his vocals. Parts of the time he sings in typical death/thrash metal style and other parts he sings in a more ordinary vocal style. Another thing that is a bit different is that the band have put in a little bit of tempo changes and some calmer passages, and that is only a good thing.
HAMMERS OF MAYHEM has 11 tracks and that includes a cover of the old Venom song “In League with Satan” that closes the album. But altogether the material is of a really high class and as an old fan of this kind of metal music I almost think that this album is genius. It really feels that the guys have put down some serious work on the album and I can only surrender to this brutal mayhem.
Black Lodge are going to re-release album no 4 THE UNMARKED GRAVES and also a re-mastered copy of the debut album THE FORCE a little later on this year.