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Wicked Asylum – Out Of The Mist Award winner

Wicked Asylum
Out Of The Mist
by Rachel Montgomery at 04 April 2020, 2:05 AM

WICKED ASYLUM is a renowned female-fronted metal band from Italy. After a slow start in 2009, they re-emerged with a new lineup in 2015 and have toured at clubs and festivals throughout Europe. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, they produced their first full-length album, “Out Of The Mist”. Work began in 2018 and wrapped in 2019. Their first two video singles dropped in December 2019 and January 2020, with the album’s release following one month later. As far as the album goes, it is wonderfully produced. I was surprised to learn it was crowdfunded, as it has an incredibly polished sound throughout.

The opening tracks are the highlight of the album. From the intro leading into their first full song, “Sold(ier)”, I know I’m getting a turbo-charged album with stylized instrumentals juxtaposed against a talented female voice. While the main style remains the same through the album, and it is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get release, it is still well-produced and orchestrated.

The songs are organized in a fast-slow-fast slow way that keeps the variety of the album fresh. “Bleeding Rust” begins like a KORN song, with Nu Metal tuned-down guitars. The beat is steady, and I enjoy the contrast between BANSHEE’s vocals and the low guitar melody. The harmonies in the chorus add a haunting element to the song. “Split” utilizes the same juxtaposition between the instrumentals and vocals but adds a more upbeat tempo and more harmonies in the instrumentals to keep the style fresh. The narration at the end is also an interesting touch. “Threnody” is another slow song, but with unique vocal harmonies that make this song a standout. I’m not a fan of the cacophonic, monotonous chorus, but that’s a small complaint.

The biggest jump between songs is from “Sun Will Rise” and “Out Of the Mist”. The former is a slow, softer ballad and the latter immediately starts with a fast-paced, hard riff to set it apart. However, in both fast and slower styles, the production, vocals, and instrumentals are on point. One small critique I have is in the song “The Meadow Of Sins”; I don’t think they should have led with a belted high note. As a contralto myself, I know that’s not the strongest part of my voice and here, the beginning sounds forced. It gets better as the song goes on, but the opening sort of ruined the song for me. Maybe if they did a longer into it would have been better, but I don’t think they should have led the song that way. The closing track, “Strain” is a one-minute outro of ambient noise, so this track is the last impression as far as full musical tracks go. As for “Strain,” it’s supposed to create a bookend effect with the opener, but with the previous song starting the way it does, it leaves something wanting. In hindsight, I wish there may have been more instrumentation in the intro/outro tracks.

Overall, the production is crystal clear. Everything, the vocals and instruments, are where they’re supposed to be. Despite a couple small problems I had with the album, it is rock-solid and a perfect listen for fans of EVANESCENSE, KINGFISHER SKY and FLYLEAF.

Songwriting: 10
Production: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Haze
2. Sold(ier)
3. Bleeding Rust
4. Split
5. Threnody
6. Sun Will Rise
7. Out of the Mist
8. Choke and Die
9. The Meadow of Sins
10. Maze
Lineup:
BANSHEE - Vocals
FADE – Guitars
LUNA – Guitars
CHIARA - Bass
CIOPPA - Drums
Record Label: Volcano Records
     


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