Asra CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Oct 22, 2008, 16:34
ASRA The Way of All Flesh CD
Though metal has taken an upswing in popularity it actually has little sway over the underground scene and sound. One example of this is the constant underbelly of grindcore bands punching and shitting and vomiting their violence and gore throughout the basements and accepting rock clubs of America. Asra, now defunct, were one of these such acts and what they brought was exactly what one would expect from the genre; apart from the greats (Pig Destroyer, Napalm Death, and the family-friendly Anal Cunt) grindcore can seem one-dimensional and stale.
The Way of All Flesh (not to be confused with French prog-death-enviromental metallers, Gojira's The Way of All Flesh released a few weeks ago), stands slouched and complacent among its counterparts in production (slippery-sweetâ€¦a bit too much at times), songwriting, and overall brutality. Where other acts, most notably the aforementioned Pig Destroyer, flex their metal muscle with poignant, gory lyrics and an undeniable fright conjured by the unpredictable rhythms and break-neck breakdowns, Asra ride a constant wall-of-noise that can make the mind wander and lessen the importance of the whole “grindcore” thing in the first place, which is pure shock and awe.
The few stand out parts are just that; the extended scream of “Loathsome” makes one feel the need to retreat as fast as possible and the entirety of “Exploiting the Dead” is a pure fury that peels paint and can heat my drafty Chicago apartment within seconds (luckily because the track lasts only a minute). Unfortunately everything else is an amalgam of empty rage, rehashed ideas, and a seemingly blank slate that so much more could be done with.
The Way of All Flesh caters to the grindcore crowd wonderfully but anyone with only leanings in its direction will be bored and disappointed in the lackluster spirit and cookie-cutter sounds. As Asra so wonderfully put on their MySpace blog (very grindcore!): “Anybody who gave canned and/or nonsensical reviews for the LP can also suck dicks.” Well, I guess I'm waiting with a wet, open mouth. [Black Box Recordings]