Monday, June 24, 2013

Maze of Terror-Skull Crusher EP

Capricorn Records

Disregard the fact that this one's over a year old as "Skull Crusher" has recently been making the rounds through all kinds of various blog sites. When I was first contacted by the group, or rather Juan Pablo (aka Leviathan), I must admit that I felt like I had stumbled upon a real gem of underground thrash. It took awhile to get the actual CD for review purchases, which happens more often then not when you are talking about bands who don't live here in the States, and in that time frame I started to see this bloody-fine EP pop up on all these sites. So much for my hidden gem I laughed! Anyway, all the way from Peru, we find this 3-piece act that formed in 2011 and ended up releasing this 5-track EP in June of 2012. This band features in it's ranks bassist/vocalist Leviathan (who previously played the same role in the band R.I.P) guitarist Bestial Slaughter and drummer Hammer. Incidentally Hammer also came from R.I.P. although Maze Of Terror is their own beast through and through. Oh, for what it's worth, guitarist Criminal Mind has apparently replaced Bestial Slaughter since this EP's release, but that's neither here nor there when we're talking about this kind of ripping thrash. Up front my mind-frame was wow, these 3 really sound like "Reign in Blood"-era Slayer as interpreted by former members of  Destruction, Kreator and Warrant (the power/speed metal one of course!). Yes, oddly enough, there is some German thrash pumping it's way through the veins of Maze Of Terror, but, as this EP rumbled it's way a through a repeated listen, there's much more to this story then meets the eye. Repeated listens allow thoughts to quickly turn to such golden oldies as Wargasm, Dark Angel, Hydra Vein, Evil Dead and Witch Hammer. If you're keeping track at home (and by now you're no-doubt scratching your head in disbelief as to how such a young band can cram so much goodness into just 5 tracks) then yes, we are talking about a group from Peru that ends up sounding like a cross between classic Slayer, German thrash and cult eighties thrash. Mind you that's all the best parts of those acts we're talking about ! "How is that possible?" you might find yourself asking. Well, my answer will most likely disappoint you as I really have no idea! Maybe it's the gods of metal smiling down on all of us once more or perhaps its just that all the stars have aligned to make it so. Whatever the case this much is true: "Skull Crusher" is 5-tracks of mind-melting, neck-snapping and soul-destroying metal that sounds like a long lost gem of the underground 80's thrash movement. In other words this is pure, whole-grade, 100% prime thrash metal with not one bit of retro-thrash loving nonsense to be found! If that sounds like the Holy Grail of thrash metal releases to you then be sure to make your way over to their Facebook page below for more information on this nearly perfect slab of Peruvian metal .

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