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Asylum - 3-3-88

Asylum
3-3-88
by Eric Poulin at 25 September 2018, 7:28 AM

ASYLUM is a doom metal band based out Silver Spring, Maryland. The band was originally formed in 1981, under the name OBSTINATION and from 1992 to the present, known as UNORTHODOX. This is however their first full-length release as ASYLUM; and it is entitled “3-3-88”. The recordings found here are originally from 1988. It is due September 28th through the Shadow Kingdom Records label. It contains 10 tracks and a bit over 42 minutes of music.

The opening track “World In Trouble” has that deranged distorted guitar sound, very familiar to fans of early thrash metal. The drums are recorded lo in the background and the vocals are definitely at the forefront. The most obvious parallel that can be made here would be to the legendary band PENTAGRAM, even though the vocals are somewhat in the Messiah Marcolin vein, except with a bit less power to them. One important mention to make here are the very talented solos and the very nice bass lines that follow them behind the scenes.

“Mystified” sounds like a recording from World War II in the early moments of the intro, followed by some gritty rhythm guitars, which do have a resemblance to CANDLEMASS. There are some alternative tones to this song as well (even though at the time there was no such thing. I would even go as saying maybe NIRVANA took some of this as an influence for their album “Bleach”, one could definitely make that assumption. This is a nice straightforward song. “Time Bomb” opens with some guitar effects, similar to that used by TESTAMENT in their cleaner passages.  I would even go as far to say that there is a bit of a FATES WARNING side to the music as well, it provides some cool melodies.

“Road To Ruin” sounds like a cross between RUSH and IRON MAIDEN, it has a very energetic up-tempo beat, and the vocals here remind me a bit of Mark Knopfler (DIRE STRAITS). The song really transitions nicely into some nice progressive parts. “Psyche World” has a much melancholic feel to it in its intro but it changes its pace into an almost psychedelic Hendrix-style funky number. Add to the mix some groovy rhythm parts and you have one of the most unique songs of the album. “Forgotten Image” has a much slower feel, much more 60s style along the lines of THE MOODY BLUES or THE DOORS. As the band comparisons go, it has a much trippier vibe to it in its intro but then shows off the trademark guitar riffing.

One other strong standout here is the final track called “Unorthodox” again very progressive in its musical structure and it has that transcendent aspect to it, which as the title would suggest, does feel a bit esoteric and edgy. It’s a very interesting closer to the album. Overall, this is the first time in a while I have listened to a pure doom metal band that uses so many elements we hear in bands like FATES WARNING, REDEMPTION, DREAM THEATER. You could state the claim that this band was a precursor in the genre by breaking the boundaries of a style that would continuously change over the decades.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. World In Trouble
2. Mystified
3. Time Bomb
4. Road to Ruin
5. Psyche World
6. Forgotten Image
7. Nowhere
8. Indecision
9. Funk 69
10. Unorthodox
Lineup:
Josh Hart - Bass
Dale Flood - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
     


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Edited 13 December 2018
 

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