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An Asylum Grows in Jersey - 100%

demonomania, January 13th, 2009

A funeral doom band from the land of hair gel and wifebeaters? Actually, New Jersey is way more evil than you might think. Thanks to the Weird NJ crew all sorts of wackiness has been documented about the state with the second highest per capita income in the whole Union (right behind Maryland, a place we all know to be full of fuckbags). I’ve gone out on several Weird NJ excursions and seen abandoned mental asylums, haunted graveyards, and the like. Entertainment deluxe.

Speaking of entertainment, Evoken’s second album “Quietus” dishes it out like an all-you-can-die buffet. But if you’ve having a party I wouldn’t throw this disc on - it may turn your Animal House into Jonestown Pt. II. Or a dark, decaying structure which once housed the insane and is now home to nothing but a quiet, creeping dread. Unlike most death/doom, there’s no sense of a romantic adventure on the backs of beautiful swans playing zithers. Evoken focuses far more on the *death* side of things, and are determined to run the listener right into the dirt.

From the punishing, cello-possessed beauty of “In pestilence burning” to the last soothing strains of “Atrementous journey” you’ll be transported into a world where pain and sadness rule the day. Evoken crushes their doomy peers with better production, perfect dabs of double bass, great use of both high and low growls, and songwriting skills that give tracks over ten minutes a frightening coherence.

What more can I say here? This is one of those releases that feels arcane, occult, mysterious. The lyrics aren’t about blood and guts makin’ muthafuckas nuts – they are cryptic. The cover art is open to interpretation. Listening to this alone at night may cause goosebumps, looks over your shoulder, and occasional sharting. Quite a feat for some dudes from the dirty Jerz. It was even recorded in Staten Island, a whole fucking borough of concentrated douchebagism that New Jersey might as well just claim as their own. They all vote Republican anyway, so no big loss.

So if you like your death metal on buckets of Quaaludes and LSD with atmosphere to spare, you’d be a fool to let this one pass you by. I rarely do this, but within their subgenre Evoken have achieved perfection.

10 moldering asylums out of 10.

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