Friday, July 17, 2015

Back Door to Asylum - Cerberus Millenia

A little under three years ago, I wrote a review of the debut album by the Russian technical death outfit Backdoor to Asylum (of which you can read HERE). Nothing too outstanding for myself personally, but nonetheless fairly solid and promising. So having decided to stick with the mighty Amputated Vein Records for their second release, we now have the sophomore release by this brutal Russian quintet, titled Cerberus Millenia. Amputated Vein was my gateway into the underground world of the much more brutal side of death metal and grindcore. By showing me bands such as Pathology, Disentomb, Bloodboil, Cease of Breeding, Eden Beast, Visceral Disgorge, Mucopus, and many other bands (most of which only released one album before completely dropping off the face of the earth without a single word), this label has become very important to me and I still follow them very closely.

Now that this band has been around for a bit longer and have gained some amount of popularity, we know more about them. Back when I wrote that review on their first album, I knew next to nothing about them. Two years later, they have some credibility and a name now. The production on this album is much, much better than their first. You can hear everything clearer and it doesn’t sound like they recorded it in their garage. Their first album had some guest vocal spots from some other underground vocalists (Fleshbomb, Gorgasm, etc.) whereas this new album has some bigger names lending their vocals, namely the vocalist for French brutal death band Benighted. But of course, to keep things underground, they have a vocal spot from the Internal Suffering vocalist and a guest guitar slot from some Russian guy that’s played in a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of.

The artwork is fantastic, and was done by a Ukrainian guy that also has done the artwork for the most recent albums by Aborted Fetus, Fleshbomb, Delusional Parasitosis, Epicardiectomy, Cremated Lives, and most recently, the new upcoming album by The Black Dahlia Murder.

A huge fad in this genre as of lately has been doing whatever possible to be as technical and as fast as humanly possible. Bands like Brain Drill, Rings of Saturn, Slaughterbox, Spawn of Possession, Deformatory, and countless others have been introducing some of the fastest and most technical recordings ever heard. Many of them have even been challenged with accusations of recording at half-speed or using computerized instruments in the studio and then speeding them up. But Back Door to Asylum does everything 100% and keeps their music raw and pure. If there’s one thing I can say about this band, it’s that they have matured immensely since their debut. And because of that, and the fact that they play technical death in its purest form with a little bit of added brutality, this is a great album if you are looking for a solid example of what pure technical death SHOULD sound like.

Like I just said above, this band has matured and developed their sound immensely. The artwork is amazing, the music is brutal as all fuck, and the uniqueness of the basslines are unforgettable. The vocals are deep and on-point, the guitars have just the perfect amount of technicality, and the overall vibe of the album stays consistent throughout all of the songs. I would recommend this to all fans of death metal and even to some that are looking to discover some lesser-known artists. This album gets my score of 16/20.