Album Review: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons – Kings Of The Asylum

Album Review: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Kings Of The Asylum
Reviewed by Carl Black

I heard recently on a metal podcast a well-known metal musician talks about the Grind of ”tour/album/tour". He disliked how the album would "disappear into the ether" after taking so much time, care and attention on the songs recorded. As a humble reviewer I would disagree with this statement and say that is work ethic. I'm sure one person who would agree with me would be Phil Campbell. Tour/album/tour has been his life for the past 40 years and has produced some of the best music metal has to offer.

Phil Campbell has instilled this work ethic into his Three sons Todd, Tyla and Dane and along with vocalist Joel Peters, have produce Kings of the Asylum, the next album in the Phil Campbell and the Bastard Son's cannon. There's no grind about this album, just an easy flowing collection of songs that have been laboured on but are in no way shape or form a labour to listen to. It's fresh sounding but with a traditional edge that you won't be disappointed by if you are familiar with any of Phil Campbell's work from the past 40 years.

Album Review: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Kings Of The Asylum

This could be described as a party album as it kicks off with two rebel rousing rockers. 'Walking in Circles' and 'Too Much is Never Enough' really do get the party started. The pattern doesn't change an awful lot as you progress through the album. AC/DC inspired rifts pepper this record. Joel's vocals are desperate sounding and reaching to the very limit of his range. He adds a bit of soul to the record. 'Strike the Match' is an extremely radio-friendly song that could find its way on to mainstream playlists everywhere. In contrast 'The Hunt' is a proper hard song with a dirty double bass riff completed by a slower part at the end. The band are helped by Phil Campbell being one of the most underrated guitar players both in riff writing and soloing and he doesn't disappoint on either score during Kings of the Asylum. Talking of which the title track of the album is a bluesy run out. The album finishes with 'Maniac' which is a proper Rock and Roll song with a slightly punky edge but could have been called something else.

They love writing rock and roll, they like playing rock and roll, they love recording rock and roll and they love rock and roll concerts. Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons don’t grind out performances, they relish in them. They are dependable and faithful and you are never far from an opportunity to go and see them live or listen to their latest offering. I'm sure there will be a tour as long as your arm coming up followed by a festival run at the beginning and throughout next summer with some time off and who's then to say that January 2025 sees the next offering in the Phil Campbell and Bastards Sons discography. They definitely have the work ethic, they will definitely have the riffs from Phil so I see absolutely no reason why this won't be the case.

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