The Asound S/T 5 song Limited Edition Cassette.
The Asound – S/T Cassette (Tsuguri Records)
By Jay Snyder (Hellride Music Forum)
March 25, 2016
Like the Eric C. Harrison Yeti drawing on the tape’s cover, The Asound are very much like the legendary beast as they come down from the hills, rip all of the townspeople in half and then go back to their mountain to enjoy the silence. With a kick ass full-length under their belts and several highly worth your time EPs and split vinyl releases, it’s getting to the point where riff-lovers have no excuse for not checking out this power trio from hell. This latest Self-Titled 5 track cassette is without a doubt the band’s heaviest, most complex set of jams to date with a number of new tricks of the trade strewn throughout…not to mention the best songwriting they’ve cut to tape thus far.
Opening with creepy fucking samples straight outta The Legend of Boggy Creek, Mike locks into a pounding, agile percussive lockstep that proves he’s one of the most underrated doom pounders in the business. Hot on his hell heels, guitarist/vocalist Chad Wyrick follows up with an abominable riff that’s heavy on the thrash-y chord progressions while bassist Jon Cox keeps the chaos thickly welded together. At nearly 7 minutes in length The Asound pulls out all of the stops on this one. Wyrick’s psychedelic vocal howls enhance the music, never distracting from the busyness going down, with the overdriven instrumental attack dropping off into a doom-y, mid-tempo lurching bass line, southern-fried guitar licks that sonically cry as they pour out of the speakers and Mike adding Flash Gordon snare/tom fills that are much quicker and vigor-laced than you’d expect with material of this deliberate sort. Soon Chad’s double-tracked guitars deliver a powerhouse doom rhythm riff for the ages with a fuckin’ open heart, surgical solo lick cutting right through the middle of the rhythmic sickness. Cox plays it straight in the pocket as Mike continues to enforce the many reasons why I think he’s one of the most acrobatic drummers in a doom sounding band of all time. He fills like Kalimon and Che while culling his hard hitting barrage from Ward and Biscuits. Just when you think these madmen will keep the riff in one mold, they change up the chord progressions again in a series of killer Cavity-esque stops/starts which continuously beck and call upon sludgy forward motion. Man…what a fuckin’ song and that mighty mountain man thrash opening comes back for one more helping of human meat before returning to its highland lair. “Controller” spills over with another apocalyptic flood of drowned southern-leads that soon turn to a tempest of dirty, grinding doom riffs and Wyrick adopting a gruffer, snarlier Pike/Lemmy bred vocal style. Once again though the boys bend the riffs into some serious dirt blues with the rhythm section following Chad’s wayward power chords n’ scalding leads into a movement that illustrates The Asound has really ascended to the next level as songwriters. If you dug the fuck outta their stuff as I did in the past, you’re going to be absolutely knocked cold with what you hear here. This is the most anthemic track they’ve done since “Joan” and it’s even better.
“Human for Human” twitches beneath a thundering, hell-fuck drum beat with the riffs firmly planted between sludgy thrash and shitkicker punk. Fuzzy, gnarly bass lines interject the madness if only briefly but the majority of this track moves like Motörhead covering High on Fire’s The Art of Self Defense, right down to its scratchy, scraping, noise-guitar solo. An earth-moving, ground cracking emotional doom riff lends some Maryland heft to the instantly ear-pleasing mulekick of “Pseudo Vein.” Wyrick’s riffs carry a lifetime of hard livin’ in ‘em and his throaty, crumbling vocals only drive in another coffin nail. As usual Crump constantly switches the tempos with his drop of a hat pace fluxes and psycho fills…said fills triggering a doozy of shred riffage from Chad’s axe. Tumbling avalanches of sharply, starkly groove-oriented reversals render this tune another standout with a big riff closing in on you no matter what direction of escape that you seek. While I mention a Maryland feel, there’s a strict Carolina feel to this material that has resonated prior in several bands from the scene that I’m a huge fan of. The anxiety-stricken guitar work winds this tune down with another twisted labyrinth noise solo screaming for help and a way out. Rounding the EP out with another virile, quick movin’ cut, “Throne of Compulsion” is trembling to the breaking point with nail-bitin’ punk paranoia filtered through caustic drum fills, dense thrash/doom riffage, barreling low-end grooves and Chad’s voice dripping with plenty of piss n’ vinegar.
If you’ve never checked into The Asound previously, please make sure you rectify that with this tape. It’s got the best songs they’ve ever written, the toughest riffage, the most murderous drum fills and the fattest low-end of all their releases. More than just a collection of grooves, the band are composing tooth-shattering, doom-blasted metal songs with clear cut beginnings, endings and progressions that stick to the mind like mental flypaper. Seriously…don’t fuckin’ miss this… Highly recommended!