Meat and potatoes, grindcore-flecked death metal

There’s a moment early on during this album that provides an appreciated, yet unexpected breather amid a relentless barrage of brutality.

Hearing vocalist Julien Truchan roar “Let the blood spill between my broken teeth!” at the beginning of the track of the same name provides unintentional comic relief due to the exaggerated, heavily French accented delivery. Said passage is one of the few truly memorable ones in a solid, technically proficient but otherwise mostly nondescript affair.

Asylum Cave is the band’s sixth full-length album and is largely meat and potatoes, grindcore-flecked death metal. The demented lyrics are based around a mentally unstable man “inspired” by the heinous actions of Josef Fritzl. This disturbing subject matter provides the ideal foil for the band’s sonic violence; see the eerie, quite frankly off-putting child-spoken intro to ‘Fritzl’ as evidence. It certainly achieves the desired effect. If these lyrics were a person, you’d have them committed immediately. It’s slightly disappointing then that as well-executed as it is, there aren’t many other particularly distinguishable elements throughout the record.

Otherwise, the Dying Fetus-like sledgehammer grooves pack a punch, and there’s a distinctly Deicide and Napalm Death-like intensity inherent in the delivery at times. Kevin Foley’s drumming is also noteworthy; dexterous, yet tasteful and in accordance with what the songs require. ‘Hostile’ ups the tempo and the guttural vocals on ‘Lethal Merycism’ channel the animalistic tendencies of ex-Psycroptic mainman Matthew Chalk. The more gimmicky, contrived moments let the side down somewhat though. The rapid-fire arpeggios and guest vocals from Aborted’s Sven de Caluwé on ‘Unborn Infected Children’ lend it a more deathcore-esque feel. This belief is magnified during the pig squeal-filled ‘A Quiet Day’, which also throws in an almost Fear Factory-esque mosh sensibility. Kudos for incorporating something even slightly unexpected; it just doesn’t quite gel.

The production values are crisp and clean, but with just enough grease and grime permeating throughout. Asylum Cave is far from a bad record; it just doesn’t offer up enough unique elements to make a longer-lasting impression.

1. Asylum Cave
2. Let the Blood Spill Between My Broken Teeth
3. Prey
4. Hostile
5. Fritzl
6. Unborn Infected Children
7. The Cold Remains
8. A Quiet Day
9.Shadows Descend
10. Swallow
11. Lethal Merycism
12. Drowning