Les Paul - 1959 reissue

Les Paul - 1959 reissue

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cyborg Asylum - Never Finished, Only Abandoned (2017)

Written by Daniel Boyer, posted blog admin

The New York City headquartered duo of David Varga and John Tumminia, collectively known as Cyborg Asylum, are brandishing their own style of post-industrial electro fueled alternative rock with their first recording Never Finished, Only Abandoned. The dozen songs included with this new release crackle with creativity unlike we’ve heard from similarly themed acts and has an idiosyncratic slant thanks to the musical and life experiences they bring to the composition of the album’s material. Varga, an Emmy award winning contributor whose musical scores have adorned film and television alike, brings an artistic point of view deftly balanced with a level of accessibility that enhances the impact of the arrangements while Tumminia’s vocal and lyrical talents give the songwriting an added depth of character it might not otherwise possess. Despite the fact that the writing of the album, soliciting guitar work from Varga’s UK based cousin Phil Jones, is conducted via filesharing before the participants ever occupy the same room at once, the songs on Never Finished, Only Abandoned sound seamless and listeners will be hard pressed to find any hiccups in their execution.

“Blitz” opens the album with an evocative instrumental and the album’s first song with vocals and lyrics, “Synergy”, also announce the presence of guitar on the album. Jones lays down some biting six string work here veering from dramatic string bends over to sharp powerhouse riffing that helps elevate this track to unforgettable levels. There’s a relatively rare excursion into more commercially viable territory with the melodic track “My Metallic Dream” and the duo mixes those qualities quite well with their electro/industrial punch. Tumminia’s vocal is one of his best on Never Finished, Only Abandoned. “Weightless” isn’t quite as commercial, but it doesn’t completely forsake accessibility and the marriage of Tumminia’s vocals and lyrics with some particularly understated yet effective Phil Jones guitar playing makes this one of the more memorable musical moments on the release. It’s certainly among the most realized.

“Angle of Incidence” is another instrumental track, shorter than most, but no less eventful. Varga proves time and again on this album that the size of his musical canvas, or lack thereof, is no impediment to him creating an artful moment and this song arguably embodies that better than any other despite being strictly an instrumental. There’s guitar and synths carrying the melody on another instrumental track “Ion” and the performance essentially see saws between those inviting passages and much darker interludes when the electronic music strikes a distinctly darker note. The album’s final cut “Paradigm Shift” continues exploring the lyrical and musical themes we’ve heard throughout the release but Cyborg Asylum ups the ante by making their musical attack harder and more uptempo than ever before. It’s a hard hitting and well paced ending to the album and should impress listeners thanks to its energy level, if nothing else. Cyborg Asylum has concocted a masterful debut with Never Finished, Only Abandoned.

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