I doubt that any self respecting metaller that follows the scene within the UK hasn’t at least witnessed a live show by these purist heavy metal purveyors, or know that they tragically lost founding member Jay-Jay Winter in a road accident, or realise that the Full Moon Dog festival is held annually in Leeds in tribute to said fallen fellow (the festival takes place on 12th October this year) and finally you all know that Asomvel play the dirtiest, filthiest ground roots boozed up rock ‘n’ roll you’ll ever get to hear. What you’ve never heard of them, and you live in the UK, hang your head in utter shame, grab a box of ales slap this album on and you will be instantly converted and forgiven.
Asomvel hasn’t changed their musical philosophy ever and with this newest offering, the bands second full length you will know exactly what you’re going to get if you’ve ever heard them before in any shape or form. However bands do need to evolve if only in terms of playing ability and general attitude, and whilst Asomvel’s music comes across as a two fingered fuck you the band has some deft touches of melody within their gritty garage rock and metal. Opening with “Dead Set On Livin'” Asomvel obviously has that Motörhead fixation but where they differ is the inclusion and insertion of other elements of the UKs filth rock scene of about 30 years ago such as Tank, Raven, Holocaust and a raft of other acts around at this time. Conan’s vocal delivery is powerful, macho and ear grabbing as is the bass which thunders along taking swipes at anyone that gets too close as on “Cash Whore”.
None of this material would be appealing without shredding riffs and “Knuckle Duster” is greedily saturated with them on every damn tune, along with some fine solos you can really practice that air guitar to. “Waster” is a much longer tune than you’d expect and follows a vibe similar to Motörhead’s slower material like “Capricorn” or “Limb From Limb” for comparisons sake. Also the tune had me nonchalantly daubing ZZ Top down for its bluesy feel. You’re never going to go wrong with songs like “Wrecking Ball” and the title track, both epitomise the old days of grimy heavy metal, where leather, denims, beer, and smoking was considered the best fashion sense and if you didn’t you were branded a fucking poseur. Parts of the album are grimly menacing like a bunch of bikers standing in the doorway of a pub, eyeing up your bird whilst you avoid eye contact as much as possible on “Final Hour”. The lead work by Lenny is exemplar as is the skin pounding mauling courtesy of Jason, each adding their own ingredient to very potent song writing.
Asomvel do what I expect them to do best and that’s write addictive, no frills tunes that are substantially heavy and significantly metal; what more do you want?
(8/10 Martin Harris)