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Asylum Escape - Even If I'm Broken [EP] (2015) - Review

Band: Asylum Escape
Album title: Even If I'm Broken [EP]
Release date: 28 March 2015
Label: Crysella Records

01. Even If I’m Broken
02. Forces Within
03. Sleep To See
04. I Can Not Be Alone Tonight
05. Something (The Beatles cover)
06. Even If I’m Broken (Reprise)

There's not a lot known about the Philippinese gothic scene, at least for me this country was since not long ago a total mystery in those fields, but thanks to German label Crysella Records we can find out some music and bands coming from for us Europeans exotic land. First we were introduced with High In Mist and now also Asylum Escape joined the ever expanding roster of the label. Asylum Escape were founded in 2011 and are fronted by singer Deda Von Miseria, who's joined by guitarist Raphael Regalado, bassist Ace Andes and drummer Carlo Alonzo, who are on the mission to create kind of gothic metal with influences ranging from gothic rock, heavy metal, doom metal and classical music. The band released its first single named "You're Teasing Me" in 2012 and gained the interest of Crysella Records owner and mastermind of gothic rock legends The Angina Pectoris, Joelen Mingi, who decided to sign them, record, produce, mix and make the mastering of their EP in question. Joelen helped the band also by composing the songs "Even If I'm Broken" (both versions) and "Forces Within", rearranging The Beatles's classic "Something" taken from their 1969 album Abbey Road, adding backing vocals and went further by contributing additional instruments such as keyboards, drums, acoustic guitars, samples, piano and violins on aforementioned songs.

Musically speaking Asylum Escape don't discover any new teritories, thus you won't get anything exotic in there, but are rather trying to sound as much European as possible. To tell you the truth the band has yet to make a lot up to reach what the European, North American and as well Australian modern gothic scene has to offer, but we must give them some credits as their compositions and with that the final result on Even If I'm Broken is conditionally quite adequate. The instrumental side is dense, pretty technical and powerful, based on gothic metal. Especially the title song offers some nice moments when the gentle acoustic guitar devours into heavy refrain and the ambiance created with gothy symphonic synths and some choirs is quite satisfactory. Add there some well played guitar leads and quite catchy melody and a nice tune is served. "Forces Within" follows the same path but it's much heavier and those piano touches and violins are very welcome in here as it adds some dynamics in otherwise boring structure. The same story goes on with the following two songs, heavy guitar drive, turbulent drumming, strong bass lines, some gloomy synths,... but unfortunately everything is too much predictable and Deda's voice ruins pretty much all the remaining fun, just listen how bland is for example "I Can Not Be Alone Tonight". I don't know but her voice is sometimes childish and seems uninspired for almost the whole time, mellow and very badly produced. On the other hand the singing is commendable in somehow well done The Beatles's cover of "Something". I don't want to say that she's that bad singer, there's a power in her voice and when she sings with a deeper calmer tone you'll sense something fascinating in her tone, but she should stay away from high pitched tones. That's perfectly heard in the reprise of "Even If I'm Broken" where her voice blends quite well together with the classical instruments in this gentle melancholic track.

Asylum Escape's debut release leaves kind of a mixed aftertaste. It's a bold release for a band from a country where this kind of scene is undeveloped. They have still a lot to learn, but they are on a good way and I expect much more from them in the future as there are some good vibrations and nozzles are set on the right panel. With two, conditionally three tracks, out of six this release is worth some of your time, beside that you'll discover that gothic metal is played also in the country which is slowly but steady marking its place on the map of heavy and dark music.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 5,5/10