It is by no means a mind blower, but "The Way of All Flesh" by New York City's ASRA (as in "Alleged Satanic Ritual Abuse") succeeds at tearing a few new assholes with its death metal tinged grindcore attack. No frills and raw as hell, the 11 tracks, many of which fall in the one to two minute range, crush, kill, and destroy for the full 22 minutes, while mixing up the tracks with pace changes and a pinch of variety, making it a decent effort.Those not familiar with the band or its music may get the impression from the opening track, "Payload", that the style leans more to the old school death metal end of the spectrum, based on its rolling chug (ala BOLT THROWER) and guttural vocals (which could be beefier). The high-end NAPALM DEATH screams though give the first hint that the music is indeed rooted in grindcore with the occasional crust punk vibe (e.g. "Burning"). What works particularly well for the act and gives one the impression that the best is yet to come is the manner in which "The Way of All Flesh" switches so easily between fast blast destructiveness, dirty groove, and ominous accents, often within the span of a minute or two. Throwing the occasional curveball, the distorted bass groove that opens "Untitled" has a southern sludge feel right up through the main riff that soon joins, albeit by way of death metal romp. The longer one listens, the more one appreciates that approach, as the band makes sure to reveal a few tricks up the sleeve along the way. In the end, "The Way of All Flesh" is a nasty bit of grindcore goodness, even if there is no danger of the album placing ASRA in the upper tier of extreme music's mercenary movement, but there is nothing to complain about either. If you're tired of overproduced DM technicality or grindcore complacency, "The Way of All Flesh" will at a minimum provide you with a brief reprieve.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.