Friday, February 24, 2012

ASPHYX - Deathhammer CD review

ASPHYX - Deathhammer CD

Century Media

Genre: Death Metal

Not all legendary bands from the past put out Goth records or water down their sound in order to appeal to the lesser contagion. In fact this could be looked upon as a worship or die pronouncement from these Dutch death metal masters. That's pretty amazing considering the fact that it's been only a few years since half of the band's classic early 90's lineup got together. They added two new members and resurrected the band from a silence which lasted over five years. Then in 2009 the silence was finally broken with Death The Brutal Way, a full length that shattered both fan expectations and naysaying critics. ASPHYX was back with a vengeance.

Making a follow up to Death The Brutal Way was a formidable challenge. If you think a band putting out it's sophomore release is a challenge then multiply it by two. So ASPHYX took their sweet time with this one and give us what I consider an absolutely solid release in Deathhammer. This thing holds true to their past efforts not only faithfully but devastatingly. Modern day ASPHYX produces crushing Death Doom and fast paced headbanging crusty riffed death metal like few others. The sound on here is as raw as modern production standards can muster. 2011 might have been the year when all of the OSDM (old school death metal) newbies strutted their audio stuff. Now it's time for another veteran act to show off.

Martin van Drunen's tortured vocal style is still incredible sounding. Guitarist Paul Baayen 's (also in HAIL OF BULLETS with Drunen) biggest credit is that not only are his riffs as well as soloing very good but he has stepped into former guitarist Eric Daniels' role perfectly. Baayen not only recaptured this band's death doom sound on their previous release buts adds a sharper edge to Deathhammer. Former PULVERIZER bassist Alwin Zuur takes over for departed Wannes Gubbels and adds a little heavier assault with fellow rhythm partner drummer and longest original member Bob Bagchus. These four guys deliver ten blasts which I could say are skull crushing but that would be redundant.

This release is one of the best things you're going to hear this year in the death metal realm. Whether it's the fast yet diabolical slashers like opener "Into The Timewastes", the d-beat insanity of the title cut, sluggish doom ridden beasts "Minefield" and the hilariously titled but punishing “We Doom You to Death”, there is not one poor track on this release. So the question is are you going to bow down in respect or are you going to receive the Deathhammer with extreme prejudice?




Just for the hell of it here's a second video for the Asphyx vs. Thanatos split. Asphyx covers Bestial Vomit by Majesty.

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