It's been about five months since Asylum released ‘Towards The Zero’ from their newest EP, Inmate, creating an air of anticipation awaiting the EP’s release. ‘Towards The Zero’, if you remember, begins with an audio clip from the 2001 psychological-horror film, Session 9. An excerpt from a positively creepy dialogue between what sounds like a psychoanalyst and a truly deranged sounding human being, usher in the distorted guitars. It might seem clichéd, but you could only ponder over the possible implications the conversation has on the meaning of the song. The track grabs onto a nerve, exploding into fast paced riffs and dense percussion, maintaining its posture almost throughout the track, with the last minute of the song seemingly breaking into the soundtrack to a viscous, whirl-wind of a circle mosh pit.
The vocals on this record – though it doesn’t necessarily invite much negative criticism – are a tad bit, how shall I put this… Uninteresting. They sound like they have the necessary ingredients to do the job, but not much beyond that. This essentially puts them in a subliminal tangent in terms of soundscape, where the music loses much of its personality. But, just to be fair, I add: “To each, his own.”
Find it as no surprise that most metalheads would agree to have, ‘Agitate The Origin’ and ‘The Devilish Lizard’ inducted into their list of favourites. ‘Agitate The Origin’ starts off with a pretty old school, almost nostalgic clean tone melody, maintaining sensible geometry in its time signatures and leaving out any unnecessary antics in trying to manipulate the structure too much, which fails to survive likability with most other metal songs. ‘The Devilish Lizard’ opens up with a gluggy bass riff and features some serious fretwork on the guitars. The pinch squeals hit just the right spot, and coupled with some carnage-creating blast beats, the track will keep your adrenaline flow on an upward climb.
To count off the demerits; first in line would be ‘Way He Lived’. A melodic guitar duet-ish track on the EP, the purpose behind the placement of which is a little difficult to digest. There is a feeling of discomfort if you were to assess the context of the track with respect to the EP. The tone of the melody might remind one a bit of old school thought of harmonies and note selection. The song would probably flaunt its personality better if it stood alone, but somehow, its inclusion in the EP does not sit well with me. The riffs in ‘Groove. Trip. Fall.’ are forgettable too, and might lose your interest as soon as the song kicks in. The EP as a whole fails to fit into the ‘groove’ comfortably; there is only a nail’s breadth between passing off the listening experience as enriching or blissfully ignorant.
Stream 'Towards The Zero' by Asylum below:
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