Phoenix modern heavy metal band The Asylum recently released its second album, In Death and Tragedy, and is on the road doing shows while seeking a record label.
Over the past four years, the band has generated quite a following in the metal scene around the Valley. With their aggressive vocals, powerful instrumentals and high-energy performances, these talented guys have drawn huge crowds and sold-out venues, such as at their recent CD release show at Club Red in Tempe.
The Asylum consists of five members: Jason Kendall on lead vocals, Vince LuPone on guitar, Adam Huck also on guitar, Bill Infamous Elliot on bass guitar and Dan Edwards on drums. Edwards, an Ahwatukee Foothills local, is not only the drummer but the band’s manager. He takes it upon himself to advertise, book shows and handle all affairs for the band. His latest project? Finding a label to sign on to.
“We’ve been talking to a lot of record labels lately. We’ve been fine without one, but you can’t get the resources and money that you’d get from a label just on your own,” he said.
Being an unsigned band may seem like a disadvantage, but it has never hindered The Asylum before. They have already established a full line of merchandise they sell at every show and online, they have their own high-end equipment, and they even have stage banners and decorations. With all these perks, The Asylum hardly seems like a little local band, but more like a national touring headliner.
“People always ask us if we’re from out of town. We definitely seem bigger than what we are,” Edwards said.
A strong stage presence and heavy, emotional music are what the band is best known for, and the new album definitely reflects the past year-and-a-half of hard work that went into making it. In Death and Tragedy features eight tracks, about 40 minutes of aggressive, sharp and focused sounds. A haunting piano sets the theme as it kicks off the first track, “Origin.” “Burning Fire,” “Solitude” and “Are We Dreaming,” tracks two, three and four carry on the in-your-face style with extended guitar solos, vigorous beats and overall loudness. Track five, “Without You,” calms down a bit with a melodic acoustic intro from LuPone and Huck, deep vocals from Kendall and a slower speed in general. “Circles,” track six, could easily be the heaviest song on the album with Edwards’ pounding, rhythmic drums and Elliot’s steady bass as the foundation. Track eight closes the album with a crowd pleaser, a cover of Survivors’ “Eye of the Tiger.” This version stays faithful to The Asylum’s heavy metal genre and is sure to leave listeners satisfied.
“This album is more mainstream than our last one. Were hoping this will do well and get us to the next level,” Edwards said.
A nationwide tour, perhaps?
The album, along with the first album, Closer to the Evil, can be purchased online at iTunes, Amazon.com and Rhapsody. The Asylum is performing in California this weekend for a special show at Camp Pendleton Marine Base in San Diego, but local fans can catch them Oct. 17 at the Clubhouse in Tempe with Kitty! and Soil, and Nov. 21 at the Venue of Scottsdale.
For more information or to buy merchandise, visit the band’s MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/theasylum.
Leslie D’Ambrosio is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.