A quarter of Finland's territory lies above the Arctic Circle, and as a consequence the […]
By Grigoris Chronis
May 12, 2007
Minotauri - II album cover

A quarter of Finland's territory lies above the Arctic Circle, and as a consequence the midnight sun can be experienced - for more and more days, the further up north one comes. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter (source: Wikipedia). Now, tell me, what kind of music a band located up there is expected to create? Thankfully, MINOTAURI is long ago added to the list if excellent Finnish bands. Let Doom reign...
Whoever's familiar with Finnish Black metallers MORNINGSTAR, he will easily recognize Ari Honkonen's name in the MINOTAURI lineup. It is written that Honkonen (HEATHEN HOOF/ex-PERKELE, too) created the band in order to expose his retro-Doom (with NWOBHM influences) restless will. Well, judging by the Pain Of Life 7 single (Iron Bonehead Productions) I got back in 2000, he definitely succeeded in, so. I wondered why didn't the band ink deal with the most appropriate - for their style - record label, Italy's Black Widow? And then, there it was: after a couple (or more) of split single (w/REVEREND BIZZARE)/live album/EP, the same-titled album is issued in 2004 via Black Widow. One album shall you get from this label, and you can as well stop reading the review; you know what to expect.
2007 sees MINOTAURI inking deal with the Firedoom division of Firebox Records. A good move for the band, this may be. In any case, II sees a set of seven new track plus the songlist of the act's Satan In Man single (2004) and the aforesaid split EP (2004). The bnad is not destined to alter its will towards other sub-genres. Thus, the spirit of Doom Metal bands like WITCHFINDER GENERAL, SAINT VITUS, (early) CATHREDRAL, (the mighty) PENTAGRAM and (some of) CANDLEMASS floats around the whole songs list. The production is less 'metal' and more 'heavy', drawing influence from the archegonia of 'twisted' BLACK SABBATH and 'occult' PAGAN ALTAR. Distorted bass, chaotic vocals and mesmerizing 'dusty' guitars serve the wants of MINOTAURI; a 70s aura (aka the Black Widow catalogue) is clearly visible plus the pounding epos of drums will travel you to doom-ie places of archaic times. No kidding, MINTOAURI lets bands like SOLITUDE AETURNUS and COUNT RAVEN sound too up-to-date. Of course, here is the benefit of  Honkonen having experience of the Black Metal ideals, now transforming it nicely for the will of MINOTAURI.
Too much said? Maybe. 'Ancient' Doom Metal fans may proceed in order to lay down their souls to eternal solitude. MINOTAURI offer a beautiful (weird word, huh?) album and it's times I think the sun should not shine anymore up there in Suomi...

7 / 10


"II" Track-listing:

Hammer Of Doom
Kill To Live
Storms Of The World
Under The Cross
Doom On Ice
Satan In Man (bonus)
Sex Messiah (bonus)
Black (Magic) Triangle (bonus)

Minotauri Lineup:

Ari Honkonen - Guitar, Vocals
Viljami Kinnunen - Drums
Tommi Pakarinen - Bass, Backing Vocals

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