Feb 192010

What do the following people all have in common?

* Kevin Talley (DAATH, CHIMAIRA, MISERY INDEX) – Drums
* Larry Tarnowski (ICED EARTH) – Lead Guitar
* Brendon Small (DETHKLOK, “Metalocalypse”) – Lead Guitar
* Andy LaRocque (KING DIAMOND, DEATH) – Lead Guitar
* Michael Angelo Batio (MAB, NITRO) – Lead Guitar
* Roland Grapow (HELLOWEEN, MASTERPLAN) – Lead Guitar
* The Heathen (ZIMMERS HOLE) – Vocals
* Bill Hudson (CELLADOR, POWER QUEST) – Lead Guitar
* Emil Werstler (DAATH) – Lead Guitar
* Rob Caggiano (ANTHRAX) – Lead Guitar
* “Metal” Mike Chlasciak (HALFORD, SEBASTIAN BACH, PAINMUSEUM) – Lead Guitar
* Alexei Rodriguez (PRONG, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, WALLS OF JERICHO) – Drums
* Eyal Levi (DAATH) – Lead Guitar
* Sean Reinert (CYNIC, AEON SPOKE, DEATH) – Drums

The answer is:  All these people will be making guest appearances on the forthcoming debut album by a relatively unknown, unsigned, two-man band from Chicago called Asylum.  Even Slash couldn’t line up talent like this for his upcoming solo album (not that we give a crap what Slash does, just sayin’). How in the world did this come about?  Read on after the jump . . .

OK, we tricked you. The answer is, we have no fucking idea how these two dudes pulled this off. But we’re guessing that shitloads of partially formed, unsigned bands would love to find out. We’ll tell you what we do know, based on the band’s blog and some other info scrounged off the interwebs.

Asylum currently consists of Markus Johansson (vocals and lead guitar, pictured to the right) and Johnny Rox (bass, pictured below). Their MySpace page describes the music as “thrash/metal/rock,” which is about right. They have four songs available for streaming there. The band has been recording songs for their debut album (to be called A Lethal Dose of Truth) since May 2006. Not quite as long as Chinese Democracy, but still.

Asylum‘s MySpace blog includes answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions [posted in April ’09], one of which addresses this point:

“What is taking you guys so long to finish this album?” We are creeping up on the three year anniversary since we started tracking. That being said, we have not been in recording studios everyday, for the last 1,095 days. In fact, our total amount of studio time is probably under 90 days. Also, we are funding this entirely on our own. We’ve had no label support, nor have we had any financial backers. If our timeline is frustrating you, we will gladly accept donations!

Guess that answers that. Except, we’re now creeping up on the four-year anniversary.

Anyway, to continue with the info we found: It appears that the awseome drummer for DaathKevin Talley (ex-Chimaira, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, and others) and second lead guitarist Larry Tarnowski (Iced Earth) will be playing on 12 of the tracks on A Lethal Dose of Truth.

In addition to those tracks, the album will include a cover of of Van Halen‘s “Get Up”. Drummer extraordinaire Gene Hoglan recorded the drumwork for that track back in October 2006, and his Dethklok comrade (and “Metalocalypse” mastermind) Brendon Small has contributed a guitar solo to the track as well. The band has lined up Zimmers Hole vocalist “The Heathen” to record guest vocals on the song.

The rest of the star-studded guest list will be contributing ONE solo each on the album.

You think that’s not enough? Try this on for size:  Vocals on the album were produced by Fear Factory guitarist Christian Olde Wolbers, the album is being engineered by Grammy nominee Bob ‘Doc’ Pucci and Wes “Waxley” Seidman (Green Day), and it’s going to be mixed by Grammy nominee Ulrich Wild (Dethklok, White Zombie, Pantera) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Yngwie Malmsteen).

To repeat, how did all this come about? Is it the awesomeness of Asylum‘s music that has attracted these luminaries like moths to a candle flame? Well, based on the four songs available on the band’s MySpace page (and we assume Talley and Tarnowski are playing on those tracks), we can say this:

The songs are melodic, thrash-paced, and competently performed, with some good single- and dual-guitar solos, and Johansson has got a decent voice — though it’s almost all clean singing, which means it’s not really our thing. So, someone who’s more into hard rock than we are, listen to this and tell us whether it’s so awesome that it would attract the kind of talent that’s lining up to contribute to A Lethal Dose of Truth.

Maybe Markus and Johnny have got photos of all these people having sex with live boys or dead girls. We know there’s a story here. We just don’t know what it is. If we find out, we’ll tell you. If you find out, please tell us.


  1. Wanna know the story? All you gotta do is ask…..

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