Vancouver's Minoton are a band that managed to hit my soft spot before I even heard a single note. The name itself is taken from the 1977 film, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. While the film boasted John Wayne's son Patrick (in one of his only roles) it failed miserably in terms of plot in acting. What made the film magical were the stop-motion monsters of legendary animator Ray Harryhausen. I grew up on his mystical creations and any group of guys that names their band after the golden, robotic Minotaur from such a film is well worth checking out in my book. They don't make fantasy films like those ones anymore and I can truly appreciate a nod to that glorious cinema any day of the week.
It turns out that Minoton earn their salt in terms of musical prowess to boot; fantastic name aside. This twin-guitar toting four piece strikes hard and fast on their debut, leaving the listener with barely over 14 minutes of gut-wrenching rock n' roll. In terms of concept it is ridiculous; certainly on par with the mighty (mostly) instrumental duo C Average when it comes to penning audio tales of orcs, witches, Harryhausen and other assorted fantasy related ideas.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty Minoton has a hard charging less stoner/psychedelic approach to their material than the aforementioned band. In their world no nonsense metal duels with noise and stoner rock on equal ground. There's an endless supply of badass riffage, tumultuous rhythms and over the top vocals on Splendid Vengeance making the outfit come across as High on Fire, Big Business and Early Man in a blender. Loads of straight-up metal moments rest side by side with a strong sense of weirdness and tongue in cheek inside humor.