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Review: Asylum - 3-3-88

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2018
Duration: 42:45
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Doom

Rating: 3/5

Review online: January 27, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 2.67/5 (53.33%) (3 Votes)

According to Shadow Kingdom, Maryland's Asylum is a cult doom metal band that came to the end of the road sometime in 1988 after recording songs that were never officially available until now with the release of 3-3-88. Some of the typical doom hallmarks are present in the heavily reverbed guitars and general slow pacing, but Black Sabbath is not the prime reference point. Asylum have an old-school, 70s sound despite recording well into the '80s and I like how the bass picks up the rhythm guitar chores when the solos start. Speaking of the solos, they have a meandering, spacey vibe and I was often reminded of Alex Lifeson's work on the early Rush albums. The vocals are a bit eccentric, a little like Terry Jones from Pagan Altar, but they are rough and frequently off key, making some of the songs, like "Road to Ruin" which are otherwise pretty good, tough to sit through. Asylum never made it big and after hearing 3-3-88, I understand why. It isn't terrible, but it isn't anything amazing that somehow got overlooked, either. If you've been searching for this stuff, Shadow Kingdom has you covered, but if you haven't, I don't see much reason to own it unless you really dig spacey, 70s hard rock/heavy metal.

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