WERE YOU THERE?: Lair Of The Minotaur @ Culto Bar, Cacilhas, Portugal | 14.06.2007
A little bar on the opposite side of the river from Lisboa was almost torn asunder.
It was already interesting enough that Lair Of The Minotaur, after a long period of semi-inactivity (a single - ‘Godslayer’ from 2013 - and an EP - ‘Dragon Eagle Of Chaos’ from 2018 - the only blips on the radar since 2010’s ‘Evil Power’), finally appeared on Instagram out of the blue. They actually joke about it on their profile, which is described as “Official Lair of the Minotaur social media account. We finally gave up and started one. Always showing up at the party at 4am since 2003.” Us hardcore fans rejoiced at what that might mean in terms of a future return to albums, live shows, or even both if we’re being ambitious in our asks. Some of us, ahem, even did a full on Discography Deep Dive on them. There’s still no hard info on any of those possibilities, but yesterday this pic appeared, which is no less than the original line-up of Steven Rathbone, Donald James Barraca and Larry Herweg, drummer extraordinaire who is also in Pelican (and a super nice guy who’s guested on our podcast).
Apparently it was just a jam, but even if we try and control our excitement about this, the “more soon” in the description of the pic really doesn’t help with that. So to keep the anxiety in check while we wait for more ruthless Celtic Frostian battleground metal of death to appear, how about we blast something like ‘The Ultimate Destroyer’ and remember good times past? Like the only time I’ve actually managed to see these guys on stage, at a crummy little bar on the other side of the river from Lisboa, a decrepit little place that doesn’t exist anymore but is in fact quite missed, as it had a lot of atmosphere and gave us a few memories of some savage shows by bands that we weren’t used to seeing much in this part of the world.
+LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR
Culto Bar, Cacilhas, Portugal
Jun 14, 2007
It was a full bill, things ran late, some people had to leave Capricorns early because of boat/bus schedules, but even in the midst of all this mess, a great time was had overall. The Ladder were a shortlived Lisboa metalcore-ish project which put out an EP, had a few interesting opening slots for a couple of years and then sort of faded into oblivion. Monogono, hailing from the nearby city of Setúbal, were a really exciting proposition, a Meshuggah-esque chaotic, wildly technical thrashy bundle of chaos that got a few of us really excited at the time. They released one of the best Portuguese extreme records of this century, ‘Amuk’, in 2007, a few months before this show, and they really tore it up on stage, fully confirming their chops, but then unfortunately proceeded to fall down the same void of oblivion. Technically they’re still active, but after sixteen years of silence, I’m not holding my breath. Do check out that record if you can though. The headliners this evening were actually Capricorns (who also disbanded shortly after - was there a curse put upon us couple of hundred dudes in that bar in Cacilhas back then?), but in all honesty, and despite me being a big fan of the band, and of the ‘Ruder Forms Survive’ album in particular, this night was all about Lair Of The Minotaur and I can only remember that the British instrumental quartet were alright. In my mind, while they were playing, I was still covered in blood on the battleground after slaying a million of my enemies.
The band had released ‘The Ultimate Destroyer’ a year before the show and seemed to be on top of their powers. Though they were without Larry on drums, replaced in the meantime by Chris Wozniak, their destructive force remained unmatched. I really do think the pics speak by themselves this time, and if you’re a fan, this particular one will definitely do that.
Now that, my friends, is a fucking setlist. Note the presence of ‘Hades Unleashed’, at the time a new song, which would appear on the forthcoming ‘War Metal Battle Master’. ‘Juggernaut Of Metal’, ‘The Ultimate Destroyer’s opening song, remains in my memory a particular highlight, but from ‘The Wolf’ (the best moment from the debut album, ‘Carnage’) onwards the band were on an absolute high, the metallic rumble and Steven’s gruff vocals and death grunts a constant fist-raising combo for the enraptured audience. We weren’t that many, but those selected few still remember how hard they were hit back then. Here’s the rest of the photos to prove it. Little talentless photographer me had to brave quite a photopit-less rowdy crowd to take them, so appreciate the fact you can see anything at all in them. Enjoy!
The Ultimate Destroyer
Juggernaut Of Metal
Caravan Of Blood Soaked Kentauroi
Behead The Gorgon
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