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Dead Asylum - Death Always Wins Award winner

Dead Asylum
Death Always Wins
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 17 July 2017, 7:14 AM

It may be the Great White North but Canada is also a hotspot for metal bands, everyone from UNLEASH THE ARCHERS to INTO ETERNITY.  It’s also the home of several great death metal bands such as QUO VADIS, CRYPTOPSY and KATAKLYSM. Enter DEAD ASYLUM, a death metal band from Canada’s British Columbia. “Death Always Wins” is their second album and the album does indeed win.  Although they are definitely brutal, they also contain some touches of both melodic and thrash metal, especially with the solos that are a rare combination of being melodic and technical.

The opening track “Defiance” is traditional death metal (especially with the guitar, which reminds me of ANATA) with some awesome melodic solos thrown in throughout the song.  They are well placed, bridging the gap between stanzas and keep the song brutal while giving it some atmosphere.  Around 1:36 we get a dual guitar melody that wouldn’t be out of place on an early IN FLAMES or DARK TRANQUILLITY album. Mike Luster, their vocalist and rhythm guitarist, is a death metal machine.  His growls/screams are searing but also full of clarity, not unlike Mike Disalvo, who used to sing for CRYPTOPSY.  While grunting his ass off, he somehow is able to make some badass riffs, along with lead guitarist Eric Morrison. Bassist Mowat also contributes to vocals, doing the more higher pitched screams and growls.  He is equally effective doing that as he is on his often thrash infused, galloping death metal bass attack.

The opening riff to “Death Always Wins,” is traditional and classic death metal with elements of thrash, as evident with the sharp, quick picking at 50 seconds into the song.  The song gets even heavier when Samantha Landa thunders through with her double bass; it sounds like a stampede of rabid animals.  She is a highly capable drummer and there isn’t a lot of women in death metal—anyone who thinks a woman can’t play this brutal genre will shut up when they hear the fast and tight drumming she brings to the band, backing them up full speed ahead. “Bred to Die,” is thrash death at its finest.  All four members hammering it in and throwing in a quick melodic harmony before throwing in some deep groove.  I love how the lead guitar weaves in and out through the track. “Welcome,’ starts off somewhat quiet and melodic, gaining mass when a doom riff breaks through until around the 53 second mark, the damn bursts and death just rides through.  Well done vocals and melodic lead guitar really add a nice touch to the song as it keeps building.  1:42 another dam bursts and it’s an assault on the senses for sure.   The song just keeps getting more intense until it ends suddenly.  One of the album’s highlights for sure.

DEAD ASYLUM'SDeath Always Wins,” is definitely one of the best death metal albums I’ve heard this year.  It manages to be brutal and relentless in its attack but also strangely refined.  Any fans of death metal need this album on their radar.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Defiance
2. Death Always Wins
3. Between Me And The Grave
4. Bury The Living
5. Forgotten Sacrifice
6. Bred To Die
7. Welcome
8. Inmate 666
Mike Lister – Rhythm guitar/Vocals
Eric Morrison – Lead Guitar
Roger Mowat – Bass/vocals
Samantha Landa – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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