Maze of Torment - Hidden Cruelty


Jun 17, 2004
Maze of Torment - Hidden Cruelty
Black Lodge - BLOD 048CD - April 27, 2007
By George Grant


Since the mid 90s Sweden’s Maze of Torment has been releasing their furious death/thrash metal hybrid. On now their sixth studio album, Hidden Cruelty, Maze of Torment hopes to continue their aggressive attack for the hungry fans. The label promised this album to be the one where Maze of Torment really finds their identity. Considering how most modern “thrash” bands fail to breathe fresh air into the genre, I was very anxious to hear Maze of Torment’s new sound.

If the year was 1986, and this album was released before Slayer’s masterpiece Reign in Blood, then Maze of Torment might have an identity. Just about all the riffs you will hear on this album seem to be lifted from Reign in Blood. It was very shocking for me to hear the similarity of the bands. I’ve heard bands borrow influences from Slayer but never to the degree that Maze of Torment does. There are moments on Hidden Cruelty where they really do sound like a Slayer cover band.

Despite Maze of Torment’s lack of creativity, this album is still a fun listen. The old-school thrash riffs that litter the album are easy to get hooked on. Also, many of the chorus lines will be stuck in your head. Even after one listen. Vocalist Erik Sahlström sounds like a marriage of Tom Araya (Slayer) and Mille Petrozza (Kreator), and considering the music Maze of Torment plays this is a perfect fit. Even though the band claims to be a death/thrash metal hybrid, most of the music on Hidden Cruelty stays within the thrash metal style. However, on ‘A Few More Bullets’ the band’s death metal influences do come through, but this doesn’t last long.

If you’ve heard Slayer, and I hope you have, then you know exactly what Maze of Torment sounds like. Hidden Cruelty even sounds more Slayer-like than Christ Illusion. Therefore, any fans of Slayer’s older style should consider looking into Maze of Torment. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself asking: Where have I heard this before?

Official Maze of Torment Website
Official Black Lodge Website