Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Kings of the Asylum art

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

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons 2023 photo

The passing of Lemmy Kilmister in December of 2015 unquestionably left a hole in the hearts of many Rock music lovers. Inevitably spelling the end of Motörhead, in the wake of this loss, a new band was born. Separate from Motörhead, the project which emerged was Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. 

Cleverly named, for those who are not aware, the band was formed by original Motörhead Guitarist Phil Campbell, along with his 3 sons; Tyla on bass, Todd on guitar, and Dane on drums. A great way to spend time with family, joining them initially was Neil Starr of Attack! Attack! on vocals. This lineup stood together over 4 years across 2 EPs and 2 studio albums, however in 2021, Joel Peters took over on vocals.

A new era for Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, the new lineup put out the live album Live in the North in February of 2023, but the biggest move forward came in June when they announced the release of their new studio album Kings of The Asylum. Dropping the news in association with the album lead single “Schizophrenia,” it became apparent the new material was sparked full of energy. That in mind, Kings of The Asylum at last emerged through Nuclear Blast Records on September 1st with a bit of buzz surrounding it.

Now, to look back, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons have put out their share of rowdy Rock-n-Roll consistently in the past; just look back to songs like 2018’s “Ringleader” or 2020’s “Son of a Gun” as points of reference. That in mind, in case you have not entirely versed yourself on Campbell and his bastard sons following the end of Motörhead, then it should be clarified that you will love what this newer band has to offer. They are loud, speedy, and heavy Rock-n-Roll music with a Punk flair. In fact, some might argue that that old school Punk side of them is even more omnipresent with Kings of The Asylum.

Pleading this case, the 11 songs that make up this new album are filled with gritty tones, but also a rebellious attitude that will get your blood flowing. Thematically, the album follows the name of the record quite well… pointing out the corruption, lies, and manipulations of world governments all around us. Truthfully, it does not get more Punk than that, and this is heavily commended. Honest, raw, and sparking you to want to flash the middle finger at the powers that be who continue to tell you what is right for you, there is a lot worth sinking your teeth into with Kings of The Asylum.

Loud and proud, tracks like “Walking in Circles,” “Too Much Is Never Enough,” “The Hunt,” and “Strike the Match” set a tone that remains throughout this album. However, the slower tempo moments, such as title-track and “Ghosts,” both really hit a chord with their thought-provoking messages entwined. And with all of this, it would be a disservice to not mention the absolutely up yours anthem “Maniac.”

When it is all said and done Phil, Tyla, Todd, and Dane Campbell should be proud that they decided to bring Joel Peters onboard. Peters fits in, provides a jolt, and Kings of The Asylum could be the band’s best record to date. A must listen for those who are sick and tired of the same old same old and appreciate some Rock-n-Roll that dares to challenge the status quo in this modern day George Orwell-like world, Cryptic Rock gives Kings of The Asylum 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Kings of the Asylum album cover
Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons – Kings of the Asylum / Nuclear Blast Records (2023)

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