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There is really no album quite like The Sane Asylum. It's thrash, like many bay area bands at the it came out. It's also very good thrash. But it also has a progressive edge, something like Dream Theater mixed with bay area thrash metal. There are some downsides to it(namely that it is impossible to find) but otherwise it's one of the best albums I have ever heard.
After getting my copy of Sane Asylum from ebay, I popped it right in and right what I had heard about the album was true. The lineup is flawless, it is the perfect blend of musicians. Marc Biedermann blows guys like Kirk Hammett, Gary Holt, Eric Meyer(except maybe on Time Does Not Heal), Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Jeff Hanneman and others clear away. This guy is truly a guitar virtuoso, who like others(namely Mike Davis of Nocturnus), deserves way more credit then he actually gets. His solos are fast and powerful, and he plays many of them(I believe every song has at least two). They are also rather complex and technical, yet can be very melodic at times. His guitar work, with a little help from future Primus guitarist Larry Lalonde cement The Sane Asylum as one of the best albums I've heard ever guitar wise. There are few guys who come as close as being meant to play with each other like Biedermann and Lalonde, and these guys exploit that instrumental chemistry with the tightest perfection every seen.
Drumming isn't horrible either. Few people know the name Mike Miner, but this guy is a truly great drummer. Yeah he's no Gene Hoglan, George Kollias, Tomas Haake, but he's fast, he's melodic and he's technical. He's better then guys like Lars Ulrich, Gar Samuelson, even Charlie Benante at times. His drumming has a very progressive edge to it as well, as he isn't always about hitting his snare and cymbals like crazy and then doing really fast double bass drum rolls(which he does quite a few of), he actually can be very creative with the use of his drums, especially his double bass pedals. He'll often use them for some funky yet definitely metal beats to go along with the bass. He is the perfect drummer for the band.
Finally, there is Les Claypool. To bad he's in Primus, because anything he ever put out with them looks small compared to what he does on The Sane Asylum. This is the band that him and Larry, and would form Primus later on from. His bass is amazing. There is just no equivalent. It makes James Hetfield feel sorry for not taking him into Metallica, because this guy makes Cliff Burton look like a bass rookie(and the guy is pretty damn overrated). His funky beats provide a nice progressive edge to the band, and give it a truly unique edge, giving them almost a fusion element to them. Coupled with Biedermann and Lalonde's guitar work, and Miner's drumming he's also perfect for the band.
Sure the production isn't the best, but it's better then most black metal demos I have picked up. Biedermann's vocals aren't the best either. Often he tries to hold out notes, and he ends sounding like a screamo vocalist. The songs at times can be kind of slow, but that's just the progressive edge coming into play. Those are the only problems I have with the album.
In turn, if you have the money, and know where to get it, get The Sane Asylum. You will not be sorry.