Vancouver’s Dead Asylum don’t pull their punches. Formed in 2011 and releasing their debut full length in 2013, the four piece bring a blend of groove metal, death metal and thrash metal to the table and it is rather delicious sounding. For lack of a better description… Think Dark Angel meets the Gothenburg sound. With their second album, “Death Always Wins”, the band hope to continue the carnage they created four years ago.

And carnage it is. Hard hitting in all aspects of the thrash-groove-melodic death metal approach, this album does not take any prisoners. Relentless and uncompromising, it is a sustained assault of riffs, harsh vocals and some incredible drum work. The opening track, “Defiance” has a sinister feel to it and when it is coupled with the musical approach mentioned previously, it hits like a truck. Title track “Death Always Wins” has a solid death metal sound with some fantastic drum and bass work and “Between Me And The Grave” which follows takes some haunting dissonance and cranks it up with some serious aggression in the vocal and riff attack.

Just from the opening three tracks, you get a feel for the band, it shows the huge focus on timing and impact to create the heaviness and intensity in their sound. “Bury the Living” brings more of the thrash metal approach into their music, a genre known for some cracking riffery and the following tracks keep up the burning pace. With plenty of windmill head-banging moments, heavy as hell breakdown feel sections, thundering bass-lines and machine-like precision drum/guitar synergy, it is a solid album all round.

Whilst it may be taxing to listen to at times, given the very rigid approach to the song structuring and compositions, it is enjoyable once you get into it. Be it the tremendous lead-work and all round awesomeness in “Forgotten Sacrifice” or the more modern groove friendly “Welcome” which has plenty of dark tones and exotic flair to its progressions, “Death Always Wins” is a great example of how technical playing and focusing on the timing and rhythmic aspect of a track can show some heavy and satisfying results.

It’s a promising album and certainly an eye opener for people who like a little variety to their death and thrash and if the band continues in this direction, their follow up releases may be even better!

(7/10 Fraggle)