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Asbestosdeath "Dejection/Unclean" CD

Posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 @ 9:20am » permalink

Asbestosdeath - Dejection/UncleanAmong the latest from Southern Lord is this killer collection from Asbestosdeath – whose members went on to form Sleep and High on Fire, among others, of course. Despite containing but a mere four tracks in just under 20 minutes, this is actually a complete discography from the band – remastered from the original vinyl releases – who only released two 7"s before morphing into Sleep. The first 7", "Unclean", was self-released by the band (in 1989, I assume), while "Dejection" was originally released by Profane Existence in 1990. And call me crazy, but to some degree I actually dig this material a little more than what most of these guys are best known for! Of course there are plenty of slow (but not too slow), pounding riffs with a good balance of intense midpaced chugging and somewhat Sabbath-esque runs over murky, plodding basslines, but there are also occasional breaks of eerie clean guitars that really add to the overall vibe. The cool thing is that it doesn't come across as particularly "sludgy", either. There are elements of that in place, but I don't know, there's just a really dark, powerful atmosphere surrounding the material – some of which stems from the excellent vocals – but it feels more creative and interesting to me than much of what started to develop within these types of circles in the decades that followed. It sounds fucking great for its age, too. No gripes there. My only minor complaint is that there's very little information in the booklet, actually. It looks great – high contrast black and white graphics printed on uncoated stock, etc. – but other than the band lineup and a little bit of recording information (though there's not even a date given for the first recording session, and neither record's original release details are mentioned at all) there's basically nothing there. Not a big deal, but 17 – 18 years after the fact it would've been cool to have seen at least a little more insight offered up in one form or another. Fuck it, though. All four tracks totally kill it, and this one comes very much recommended…

Asbestosdeath "Anguish"

I can't stress enough my desire for people to support these types of releases so that labels will continue to undertake them, so fucking buy a copy if you like what you hear:

@ Southern Lord
@ The End Records


  1. Karl J says:

    Agree on basically every point, but I can't really say I like this more than their future endeavors (particularly HoF). I recall a guy in Alternative Press, in his review of "The Art of Self Defense" years ago, saying that "Matt Pike has never written a bad riff in his life." I tend to agree with that assessment. Along those lines, I can't think of the last Southern Lord release that wasn't really worthwhile…

  2. -cja says:

    great band and great review. still waiting for the vinyl version of this to arrive already. also, i think one or two of the songs found on here appear on the debut Sleep album (which kinda sounds like it coulda been an Asbestosdeath full length).

  3. Hm, this is pretty cool! I kind of how it feels like it never settles in…always keeps changing. Also the cover is kind of funny.

  4. ezra says:

    I just picked this up the other day, pleasantly surprised.

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