Lair of the Minotaur, "War Metal Battle Master"

cover imageConsidering music videos seem to be only broadcast on YouTube, I wonder why bands go through the bother and expense of making them when they could be producing more music. Granted there are those times when picture and sound come together to make something powerful but this certainly is not one of those times. A crappy homage to the gorier side of '70s and '80s horror movies and a bunch of ropey live footage was never a good idea, how it got as far as being pressed on DVD is beyond me.


Southern Lord

The unedited video for “War Metal Battle Master” sees some badly choreographed fight scenes between Greek warriors combined with the band shredding away in the middle of the desert. Amid the schlocky carnage are naked cannibal women devouring the corpses of the fallen. Thus the twin mainstays of hormonal teenage metal heads are accounted for: blood and tits. The whole thing is fun but a bit lame after more than one watch. The edited version is included and cuts out all the gore and nudity, leaving a limp sub-Slayer video in its place. Also included are two making of documentaries which amounts to nothing more than filler; from what I can tell their inclusion is mainly another chance to look at the naked ladies).

The bulk of the DVD consists of live video taken across a four year period. The recordings (both audio and video) are bootleg quality and even though there is a lot of fire in the performances, there is not enough to carry these shoddy recordings. The audio is generally dreadful and trying to watch some of the video footage is a recipe for motion sickness. Extreme zooms in and out of the action, camera shake and an annoying infra-red setting on some of the videos mean that I have only managed to watch this DVD once as it gave me a pounding headache. It is a shame that they have obviously paid people to film them at some locations (with multiple cameras capturing the action) but no one thought to actually record from the soundboard.

This is something that should be a freebie with an album. There is not enough quality here to justify its release as a standalone product and to charge people money for it is an insult. Southern Lord’s quality control is quite high; everything from the bands signed to the label down to the album art is usually impressive. This is a major blip in their catalogue (and even in Lair of the Minotaur’s own list of releases) where the concept of quality seems to have gone out the window.