Asylum: The Earth is the Insane Asylum of the Universe

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By Gruesome Greg

Shadow Kingdom Records has unearthed and re-released the 1985 demo of Maryland doom disciples Asylum, who later changed their name to Unorthodox and put out two classic albums in the 1990s. The three-piece band certainly takes some cues from Pentagram, along with proto-doom/NWOBHM classics like Diamond Head’s white album and Angel Witch’s self-titled effort. “The Moment of Truth” comes in the middle of this seven-track, 28 minute offering, and it’s a rough, gritty slice of doom that wouldn’t sound outta place on Pagan Altar’s Volume 1. “Moment of Truth II,” added to the reissue as a bonus, is a fast-paced instrumental chug, somewhat reminiscent of “Am I Evil.”

The album comes to a close with the lengthy doom epic “Dying Breed/Distant Friend,” a stellar adherent to the fine Maryland tradition. Alas, Unorthodox returned from a lengthy recording hiatus late last year, with singer/guitarist Dale Flood ever-present at the helm. Pick this one up if you wanna know where it all began. Also recommended for those who consider Angel Witch to be criminally underrated, and/or view Washington D.C. as the Doom Capital of the world!

(Shadow Kingdom Records)

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.