Asylum Cave

Right-wing yahoos in this country may still hold the French in contempt, but those of us in the underground know better. Not only has France been dominating horror the past few years with brutal films like Inside, Martyrs and the work of Alexandre Aja, but it’s also got its share of stylish, unfuckwithable metal acts. Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Gorod, Aosoth, even slightly more mainstream acts like Gojira or dazzling progressive acts like Kalisia. And now I can add Benighted to that list of French metal luminaries (although some of you have probably known about them for much longer, my loss).

Now, I don’t usually cover a lot of death metal, let alone brutal death/grind, but Asylum Cave got my attention, for one main reason: Benighted writes great songs. They’ve nailed that perfect blend of brutal aggression, pummeling groove and sick, snaky melodies, and that addictive combo gives tracks like “Shadows Descend,” “Hostile” or “Swallow” much better listenability than most anything I’ve heard from the largely drab and colorless deathcore movement.

Combine that intelligent melodic sensibility with massive production and you’ve got a serial-killer of an album. Every song here is expertly structured and consistently exciting, with a huge variety of rhythms and tempos, from the spastic grind of the title track to fat, nasty groovers like my favorite, “Unborn Infected Children.” Riffs cut deeper than a well-swung cleaver into glistening pig-muscle, solos scream like buzzsaws into bone, and then the percussion and growls drive that sledgehammer home to produce that sweet, sweet, brutal death bacon. Mmm bacon.

And yes, speaking of pigs, there’s plenty of breeee-breeee-breeee throughout the album. Some of you may be turned off already, but I’m not. That’s partially because I haven’t been as exposed to it over the years, but mostly because it’s one more tool in a vocal toolbox that’s already well-stocked with bowel-churning gurgles and high-pitched grind shrieks. And more to the point, I think the bree-bree, when it happens, is just pretty fuckin’ cool.

I’ve been listening to Asylum Cave for months now (especially when working out, this shit keeps you going), and that says a lot given that this isn’t usually my genre. It’s just that damn good – or if you’ve seen the full album cover (back and front), it’s at least as good as huffing a pint of jenkem while getting fellated by some meth-mouthed sex slave. Top 10 of the year for me, no question.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
July 14th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Turd McGee

    absolutely agree with this review. This has a reserved spot in my top ten also. “Prey” and ” A Quiet Day” are probably my favorites.

  2. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    Yeah those are both great too, I just couldn’t list every song on the album ;)

  3. Commented by: Staylow

    Awesome review Jordan, nailed it. Sorry I never got around to doing it myself, but I think this pretty much kills anything I could have wrote about it lol. Also a top 10 for me, no doubt.

  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    haha thanks Larry – if it hadn’t been for that clip you posted on FB I wouldn’t have heard of these guys in the first place

  5. Commented by: faust

    Yep, review is spot-fuckin-on. This band is pure sickness.

  6. Commented by: Dan

    been into these dudes since ‘Identisick’. fucking great band. flat out fun brutal death metal. you can tell that everyone in the band is having a blast and really loves the style, not just hopping on a band wagon. nothing rips like ‘Icon.’

  7. Commented by: Evil In U

    This album kills. Vive la France!

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