Dead End – The Mind’s Asylum

Dutch outfit Dead End has been around since the late 1980s and early 1990s and released two demos and an EP during that period before splitting up. They resurfaced in 2016 though only one original member is in the ranks and released an album titled “Reborn From The Ancient Grave”, which I’ve not heard, and have now followed it up with this sophomore "The Mind’s Asylum" that in all truthfulness isn’t going to set the world alight.

It does however contain eight tracks of well executed death metal that opens with 'Avarice' after a short sample introduction. The band has adopted an old school approach to their song writing with a harsh vocal delivery that has a grittiness to it but also decipherable. 'My Malady' follows and sees the guitar riff adopt a sharper edge but maintains a slower pace that borders deathly doom. It has a hint of very old Paradise Lost or even Anathema’s early material such is the gloominess of the riffing up until the change in tempo.

The calm start to 'Backfire' lures the listener into thinking the track is going to be more of the same but smoothly transforms into a dense double kick infested brute. The band blends moody auras into their songs very well creating textural tapestries within the frenetic tempos they deploy as I particularly liked the sinister bass line they used to open 'Marked Again'. I wouldn’t say Dead End offer much above their competitors within the deathrash field but they have convincing song writing skills as 'Marked Again' demonstrates with its morphing shifts in pace and grisly vocal exudations. 'Restless Waters' has a fine opening riff and catchy beat, the song maintains a mid-tempo speed initially but slickly switches to the more feverish style before dropping the whole track into a tribal drum segue and excellent hook riddled phase that I really enjoyed.

The album ends with the elongated and more ambitious 'Folly Of Man' that is preceded by the haunting 'Wartime In Eden' with its piano serenity and spoken words, that link in nicely when the bass intro starts the closer. The density allows a claustrophobic atmosphere to be generated, as the pace is slow and menacing allowing the vocals to growl ominously within the songs foreboding aura. The double bass intermittence is well placed right before the riff break and increase in tempo which is accompanied by a buzz saw like bass invasion. The song channels the listener down various paths as narration is also used to good effect as yet again the band changes those tempos smoothly especially with that descent into narrated vocals.

Like I have mentioned there are plenty of bands recording this style of music but Dead End have produced an album with conviction and for that they have to be commended as each track offers something different for the listener to take on board.[embed]

1. Avarice
2. My Malady
3. Backfire
4. Goddess Of Fire
5. Marked Again
6. Restless Waters
7. Wartime In Eden
8. Folly Of Man