It is hard not to be enamoured with the Canadian underground metal scene and the number of striking and very often seriously impressive bands it spawns so it is not a surprise to find another making a sizable addition to the list. They are Vancouver quartet Dead Asylum who through new album Death Always Wins leave no hiding place from their ravenous blend of melodic death and thrash metal with plenty more things on offer. It is a creative scourge relentlessly harassing body, senses, and imagination but rewarding each in return.
Emerging to the rear of 2011, Dead Asylum lured attention and praise in their second year with debut album General Carnage. Time since has seen their reputation especially as a live force escalate; the band sharing stages with the likes of Anvil, Toxic Holocaust, Warbringer, Exmortus, Soulfly, and Soilwork, as well as touring across their homeland into the US and play alongside bands such as Suffocation, Bison BC, and Holy Grail at numerous festivals. Now they have Death Always Wins to offer up, and straight away it shows itself one of those encounters which quickly has you thinking broader attention and opportunities are lying in wait for its creators. Time will tell if it bullies and seduces that success but certainly the album has stamped Dead Asylum down as a band to take real notice of.
Instantly the album consumes ears in virulent grooves and rapacious riffs, Defiance fuelled by a vocal animus as rhythms plunder the senses. The grievously magnetic vocal attack comes from rhythm guitarist Mike Lister and bassist Roger Mowat, their interchanging and entangling deliveries as venomously intrusive and compelling as the sounds around them. Thereon in lead guitarist Eric Morrison spins and spreads a web of grooves and melodic toxicity, his enterprise entwining around the punishing yet equally virulent and rousing assault of drummer Samantha Landa. Infectiously nagging and trespassing ears and imagination, the track is a superb arousal of the senses to explosively set things off.
The album’s title track is next, unleashing its own hungry grooves and barbarous beats within seconds as vocals share a cancer of expression and word. Death Always Wins equally conjures a labyrinth of melodic and sonic craft to expand its temptation, one flooded by a pestilential infectiousness based on a thrash breeding which is rabid and irresistible.
Somehow things become even more predatory within Between Me and the Grave, the track initially prowling with ill-intent before accosting ears in a primal surge of carnivorous riffs and grooves as Landa brings even greater malice and swing to her rhythmic trespass. At times there is something of the likes of Soilwork and Scar Symmetry to the encounter, the band’s Swedish death metal inspirations open if twisted into Dead Asylum’s own creative antipathy within this and surrounding tracks like Bury the Living; another corrosive barrage of invention and dexterity bred on imagination and unpredictability. Whether the Dead Asylum sound is truly unique can be debated yet as this song alone shows, it has a memorable character and adventure which sets it firmly apart from the crowd.
Forgotten Sacrifice with its senses niggling grooves and instinctive grudge fires up the passions yet again, the track a skilfully sculpted blur of hostility and sonic violence twisted by Morrison’s vitriolic grooves and entrancing citric melodies and further scarred by Landa’s intrusive rhythms and the vocal rancor of Lister and Mowat.
Through the bestial dance of Bred to Die and the malignantly seductive fire of Welcome, ears and appetite for extreme adventure are gripped, the second of the pair especially enthralling with its almost exotic charm and jaundiced tapestry of sound. Neither quite have the little extra which makes their predecessors so incendiary for the imagination but each adds a potent reason to acclaim the album before final track Inmate 666 seals an already done deal with its psychotically bred and insatiable invasion of thrash death rancor. The track is glorious, an exhilarating end to a mutually riveting release.
Dead Asylum will be new to many, after Death Always Wins they will surely be the lust for a great many more.
Death Always Wins is released June 2nd through https://deadasylum.bandcamp.com/album/death-always-wins
Pete RingMaster 01/06/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright