Released: 2013, Limb Records
I really enjoy discovering bands like this. This German band has been around for 20 years and has four albums and a pair of EP’s but this latest release is the first I have heard them. Some people in the music industry say that getting signed to a label is not such a big deal anymore but I disagree. As soon as they got singed to Limb Records they had much more attention from the media and world-wide distribution. The first five releases were independent and as soon as Limb released THE CALL they are on more peoples radar.
This sextet of Germans play Celtic/Folk/Power Metal. Seeing as they were formed in 1994 they were one of the earlier bands in this style. Think about that for a moment…Minotaurus predates all the big folk bands right now, Falconer, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Moonsorrow, Tyr, Ensiferum, Eluveitie ,etc. That makes them, along with countrymen Suidakra and Subway To Sally, one of the very first bands in this style in the second wave (post-Skyclad) of folk/celtic flavoured Power Metal. Minotaurus deserve a lot more credit than they have and that alone is even more evidence that a label can help make or break a band. Minotaurus toiled in the underground for two decades while those other bands, who came later, got the recognition and got to go on tours like Paganfest.
THE CALL is has seen a a couple of members leave since the last album THE LONELY DWARF back in 2009 and of course as mentioned they are now singed to Limb. The 11-track album runs for 48 minutes and has a remade version of an older song called ‘Princess Of Destruction’ which originally appeared on their 2004 album, MYTH OR REALITY. THE CALL also has an attractive album cover with yellow colour scheme, which is not that common in Metal, depicting a morphing man/minotaur. Maybe he will be their new mascot!
Musically, the band is very sophisticated with several elements that make the listening experience even more enjoyable. For example the tolling church bell halfway through the song’ Erlkonig’ with the layered male and female vocals accompanied by a fiddle or violin, make this a great song. There are few songs that have less folk influence and tend to be a bit faster but it is where the band lets the folk/celtic components into the songs, is when the band gets most interesting. There is lots of flute and acoustic guitar and the beautiful voice of Julia Hofmeister features in many songs. There is a tender ballad called ‘Love Song’ which lyrically is even a little bit wimpy for my tastes…and I love ballads! The tone and tempo of the whole album is a mid-paced with occasional flurries of energy. This is a very well-rounded, well performed and produced album.
I truly hope that THE CALL gets Minotaurus the exposure, respect and recognition they deserve. I’m late on the bandwagon but I am now a champion of the band.