A few weeks back I got a tip on this band DEAD ASYLUM and their sophomore album Death Always Wins (self-released, out now). Take a bit of Melodic Death Metal, add in some Thrash Metal elements and some serious guttural vocals, put it in a blender and the results would taste like this band. The guitars are nasty and sharp, and the drums go from pummeling to fast seemingly at the drop of a hat, and sometimes at the same time. The music is just flat-out heavy, heavy, heavy, which makes sense since they are from Vancouver, home to some of the most crushing bands I know. Now, about these songs…
Right out of the gate leadoff track “Defiance” rains down a series of hammer blows on your skull, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Mike Lister on the attack from word one. A series of sweeping solos dances around the chunky-style riffs (always my favorite) courtesy of lead guitarist Eric Morrison, and Roger Mowat’s bass lines pop and sizzle. Drummer Samantha Landa brings a stick-laden fury to the skins and oftentimes when she hits the kick drum it’s like being pounded in the chest with a battering ram. She’s something behind the kit, that’s for sure. Everything about “Death Always Wins” is angry, raw, and in-your-face. Abuse of the REPEAT button is totally warranted.
“Between Me and the Grave” will keep you guessing because it starts out one way then veers off into thrash territory, but with much more vicious vocals. I love it when bands employ that little bit of misdirection. It keeps me on my toes. Another one that kept me coming back for more was “Bury the Living” because the guitar work of Lister and Morrison caught my ear in such a way I found myself humming the riff hours later at work. Oh, and speaking of, “Forgotten Sacrifice” is another winner, no question. This might be, nay, it IS the album’s best track hands down, and is on its way to becoming my next ringtone!!
“Bred to Die” is an absolute banger from beginning to end, Landa going batshit on drums, while the rest of the band is in a full court press. If “Forgotten Sacrifice” is #1, then put this one down as #1a, no question. With “Welcome” the band changes pace and opts for a slower attack, while closer “Inmate 666” turns on the jets one final time to smash faces in. All told, Death Always Wins is an excellent record, and you can now count DEAD ASYLUM as one of my favorite extreme metal bands not just from Vancouver, but from anywhere. I highly recommend this one, you guys!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Forgotten Sacrifice”, “Bred to Die”, Death Always Wins”, “Bury the Living”