|Review: Asylum Pyre - Natural Instinct?|
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: December 11, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Now this is something I usually go in for; Symphonic/Power with operatic female vocals, but something about Asylum Pyre's Natural Instinct? just isn't clicking. Don't get me wrong, the performances are top notch. Female vocalist Carole Alcantara has a fine operatic range and Johann Cadot supplies the Marco Hietala-style male counterpoint vocals (along with his guitar duties), although his style is less aggressive than the Nightwish bassist's. Maybe it's all the soft edges on Natural Instinct? Where's the metal, Asylum Pyre? This is closer to hard rock in many places. Maybe it's the production. The sound of the album has a "faraway" feel to it. No matter how loud I play Natural Instinct? it sounds as if it is on in another room. Ultimately, neither of those were deal breakers.
Unfortunately, it is the songs that undo Natural Instinct? They, like the rest of the album, aren't bad, but nothing on here is attention getting in any way. There are almost no memorable hooks, riffs, solos or choruses. You can hear what Asylum Pyre is trying to accomplish, but only if you listen really hard, a tall task when the slightest distraction can easily pull you away. I do not dislike Natural Instinct? but I can't think of any reason to listen to it repeatedly, either. If here is an exception on Natural Instinct? it is the closing track, "When We Are Wolves" with its speedy double kicks and the harmonized chorus by Alcantara and Cadot. If you're going to play in the Nightwish-Symphonic playground, you need to bring a LOT of big hooks and massive, in-your-face choruses. Asylum Pyre hasn't done that on Natural Instinct? The musical talent is there, now just waiting for the songs.
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