ASYLUM PYRE – Spirited Away
The third studio album from French melodic metal act Asylum Pyre contains 13 tracks of diverse riffs, dual female clean vocals and male growls, and a sense of cyber/dance oriented grooves at times. Artists like Nightwish and Within Temptation come up, as well as the uniqueness of Pain of Salvation, on cuts like "Unplug My Brain", the straight forward gothic-oriented title cut, and 7:48 epic, soul-stirring ballad "Soulburst".
Guitarist Cadot Johann has killer chops that coupled with smart verse matching keeps Asylum Pyre very diverse and heavy enough to appeal to more than the conventional gothic contingency. Chaos Heidi as a singer comes from more of a theatrical background, she can unleash interesting screams but has solid capabilities in harmonizing and resonance that make "At My Door" and "Second Shadow" sultry, enchanting, and addictive. The keyboard tone throughout straddles the 80’s synth/ video game revolution and happier nature that may be typical of the bigger bands of their sub-genre.
A marked improvement from 2012’s "Fifty Years Later", the rhythm section gets a chance to shine even on "The Silence of Dreams" – you can really tell the band members have mutual respect and admiration for putting the arrangements and individual songs top of mind. Asylum Pyre may not be for everyone because of their left of center approach, but those willing to invest the time and energy into deeper headphone sessions with "Spirited Away" will come away very pleased.