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Asylum
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Milosz Gassan (vocals, guitar); Jarboe (vocals); Jeff Hayward (guitar); Kris Force (violin, viola, cello); Ian Shultz (keyboards, background vocals); Billy Knockenhauer (drums); Max Furst (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: Ethan Dussault; Morne.
  • Recording information: Knobsnob Studio, Pacifica, CA (02/2011/03/2011); New Alliance Studios, Cambridge, MA (02/2011/03/2011); Special Cases, New York, NY (02/2011/03/2011).
  • With a blend of the epic and the apocalyptic, Morne continue to refine their atmospheric sludge on their second album, Asylum. While it would normally be easy just to look at a more highly evolved brand of sludge and lump it into the nebulous post-metal hopper, Morne's approach makes an easy generalization like that more difficult. By keeping the muddy, shuddering guitars and ominous tempos of the genre intact while adding new melodic elements like passages of clean guitars, violins, piano, and spacy synthesizers, Morne have crafted a sound that combines airy ambience and foreboding heaviness into a sound that highlights both elements without diminishing either. This kind of careful change makes Asylum less of an evolution of the style and more of a renovation, keeping what worked about the old sound while improving upon the form in a way that makes you wonder why it wasn't always like this to begin with. Changes like this make Asylum an album that can be enjoyed at a few different levels. On the surface, it's easy to fall into the skuzzy, gloomy depths of the glacial guitar work, but with a deeper listen, a more textural album begins to present itself, and while the former will draw people in, it's the latter that'll make them stay for the long haul. ~ Gregory Heaney
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