Asphyx - Deathhammer
27 February 2012

01. Into The Timewastes
02. Deathhammer
03. Minefield
04. Of Days When Blades Turned Blunt
05. Der Landser
06. Reign Of The Brute
07. The Flood
08. We Doom You To Death
09. Vespa Crabro
10. As The Magma Mammoth Rises
11. Death The Brutal Way [bonus] [7' Version 2008]
12. Os Abysmi Vel Daath [Celtic Frost cover] [bonus] [7' Version 2008]

If you want to listen to an orchestra of drills, jackhammers and chainsaws with a grunting pig in the foreground, this is not an album for you. If you want a sterile surgery room sound that's soulless, completely flat and devoid of any feeling, colour or emotion, this is not an album for you. In other words, if you're a fan of "brutal" (notice the parentheses) death metal, Asphyx might not be the best thing to spend your allowance money on. (I put "brutal" in inverted commas because that ridiculous subgenre of metal is everything but brutal. Believe me, after a whole summer day spent in army boots my stinking socks are much more brutal and violent.)

Now that I have established how much I hate modern death metal and that I have made quote a few new enemies because of my views, I can rest in peace and proceed to tell you how great Deathhammer is.

What is it in those ancient death metal bands (minus Morbid Angel of course) that modern bands lack? Maybe if you started playing death metal in the 80's or 90's you acquired good taste that you have never lost afterwards? Maybe you just learned that composing songs entails such things as structure, melody and memorable riffs - a thing that modern day "musicians" have very little knowledge of?

Asphyx has all that. From the very first sounds of "Into the Timewaste" the listener is faced with everything that was great about death metal 20 years ago. It's crushing, it's clear, it's memorable. The tempos are reasonable, the riffs are memorable, the vocals are genuinely devastating. Martin Van Drunen has always been, and definitely still is, one of the best throats in all extreme music. Paired with an incredibly powerful guitar sound, he simply slays. As usual with Asphyx, the songs are either fast or very slow, bordering on doom metal. In both incarnations the band does a top notch job. The listener is never left with the feeling of pointlessness, every song is meaningful and leaves a lasting impression. The highlights are without doubt "Deathhammer" and "We Doom You to Death". The fast and the slow respectively. All that's great about Asphyx is in those 2 songs.

Look no further people. The death metal scene is unlikely to spawn a better album than Deathhammer this year. 99% of bands have no clue what it takes, so what can one expect anyway.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Band profile: Asphyx
Album: Deathhammer


Written on 24.03.2012 by
Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.
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Troy Killjoy - 28.03.2012 at 00:58  
Written by Milena on 28.03.2012 at 00:54
I just hope that won't happen...

Not to drag this even more off-topic, but all you can do is hope. Regardless of your current feelings, people change and life happens. I hope I still enjoy the music I do for as long as possible, but I suspect there is a growing possibility that I lose interest completely in the next few years. I've already given up slightly in terms of chasing down new releases and such.
Milena - 28.03.2012 at 00:59  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.03.2012 at 00:58

Not to drag this even more off-topic

We should continue this in some other place, true.
cwadley - 01.05.2012 at 06:30  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.03.2012 at 00:14

How old were you when you got into metal? If it was before you were fifteen there is a very very bog hance you'll still be listening to it in 20 years time. If it's after that the chances are a lot higher you won't be listening to it in 20 years time.

I never thought of it that way, but you may be on to something. Why do you think that's the case?

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