Released: 2010, I Hate Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
There used to be a vast division of German Thrash Metal acts during the eighties that never made is as big as such hordes of German Thrash as Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Deathrow, Holy Moses and so on. Such names like Protector, Living Death, Mekong Delta, Darkness, Assassin, Exumer, Necronomicon, Vendetta, Violent Force and Minotaur come to my mind first.
Talking about the latter mentioned act, Minotaur, when I got to hear the band´s debut demo, THE OATH OF BLOOD back in 1986 (thanks to my active tape trading in those tape trading times), I was instantly blown away! The band delivered somewhat typical fast and fierce meat and potatoes blackened Thrash Metal that simply screamed to be liked.
After a couple of demos later, Minotaur´s POWER OF DARKNESS debut album hit the streets in 1988 that the band decided to release on its own (limited to 2500 copies only that were sold out within a few months since its release). Since those days the album was bootlegged at least once without the permission from the band members.
The 1st official re-release of POWER OF DARKNESS has finally seen the light of day – thanks to I Hate Records from Sweden, that ended up releasing it with an additional 4 bonus tracks that the band recorded in the end of 2009, particularly for this release. As said earlier, Minotaur´s raw, fantastically relentless and calories burning blackened Thrash Metal on POWER OF DARKNESS has the needed energy and 80´s vibe that many of us are still missing from those times. Having said that, to me Minotaur has always – more or less sounded like a little brother of early Kreator or Sodom, full of sheer aggression and untamed rage that often tends to bring a relatively wide grin back on my face due to keeping it so old-school and loyal to the early times. Much like Kreator´s ENDLESS PAIN, or Sodom´s OBSESSED BY CRUELTY albums, Minotaur´s POWER OF DARKNESS represent the best of German Thrash that was available from the Germanic shores in the late 80´s: Ripping, raw, violent and aggressive Thrash Metal that had ´made-in-Germany´ tagged all over it.
The 4 new songs that the band decided to record for this first official POWER OF DARKNESS re-release to just celebrate this Minotaur underground classic a little bit, are slightly more modern sounding, melodic and technical – bringing some flashbacks from Kreator´s TERRIBLE CERTAINTY and EXTREME AGGRESSION era to my mind song-wise. It´s all good stuff, reminding mostly of the stuff they did for their 2nd album, GOD MAY SHOW YOU MERCY… WE WILL NOT.
Minotaur can still be considered a very underrated German Thrash Metal act in 2010 (they reformed 2003), but we can all change that for good by starting to buy their stuff. This official re-release of POWER OF DARKNESS album might be a good starting point to those who haven´t heard Minotaur before and want to start knowing the band better. It will introduce Minotaur how they sounded some 23 years ago – and how they sound these days. For the fans of German sounding Thrash Metal, POWER OF DARKNESS is definitely a well worthy purchase.