Asphyx - Deathhammer review



Reviewer:
9.0

226 users:
8.12
Band: Asphyx
Album: Deathhammer
Release date: 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.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



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.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 53   Visited by: 382 users
26.03.2012 - 00:41
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Slayer666 on 26.03.2012 at 00:20

What's with all the bitterness towards the new stuff, old-timers?


because 95% of the new stuff is just total and utter crap
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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26.03.2012 - 01:43
Lit.
Account deleted
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.03.2012 at 00:41

Written by Slayer666 on 26.03.2012 at 00:20

What's with all the bitterness towards the new stuff, old-timers?


because 95% of the new stuff is just total and utter crap


And the other 5% are Metal.
(This is me being an immature ass)
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26.03.2012 - 02:28
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 26.03.2012 at 01:43
(This is me being an immature ass)

Not any less mature than all the old-timers who bash modern metal solely because it's modern.

I hate on a lot of revivalist shit and even some new contemporary stuff. I also happen to like a lot of it too. This album is definitely worthy of an 8+ rating but I think reviewers like Daniel are praising it too much simply because it's Asphyx. I agree with most of what Baz said although he kind of got fingered on his own score and review of Vallenfyre's debut.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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26.03.2012 - 02:47
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.03.2012 at 02:28

I hate on a lot of revivalist shit and even some new contemporary stuff. I also happen to like a lot of it too. This album is definitely worthy of an 8+ rating but I think reviewers like Daniel are praising it too much simply because it's Asphyx. I agree with most of what Baz said although he kind of got fingered on his own score and review of Vallenfyre's debut.

Yeah same here. This album is as solid as it can get, I do enjoy it, but it's really nothing special whatesoever. Just the best it can be from a band squeezing the last few drops of life from a tired genre. As much crap as there is from modern metal it's still the way forward for this genre.
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26.03.2012 - 03:16
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Mr. Doctor on 25.03.2012 at 15:05

Written by R'Vannith on 25.03.2012 at 13:15

I'm curious though what makes this one (or any death metal album for that matter) less 'modern', the production? They both sound like death to me, albeit of different kinds. I'm guessing perhaps the tone, this one sounds very.. I suppose grittier.


I think the classic Asphyx sound of really REALLY rusty and crunchy chainsaw guitars is their true oldschool trademark sound which not only sets them apart from the current bands, but also from other old-school death metal bands as well.


I definitely see what you mean there, the difference is obvious. But I can't help feeling that people get too caught up on creating a divide between what they consider 'oldschool' sounding and what sounds modern. I think in reality the difference, although it is there, isn't as divisive as some would suggest.
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26.03.2012 - 06:03
BitterCOld
Gringo
I don't think they are getting a pass and an inflated score* just because they are "old school" or Asphyx... read what folks, particularly us old timers, have been saying about the last several Obituary releases. To me Asphyx is in that Obituary/Bolt Thrower club where they have a set, noticeable style with a groove. BT got better as they aged, Asphyx kept keel, Obitary just grew more stale.

as for old vs. new, i prefer the old vibe/approach to most of what i hear from the newer bands. it's not because it is "new" or "modern" so much as it just sounds far too clinical. i prefer DM to have that same old rough punk edge.

that and as JOOE pointed out, DM is a far more limited genre (see also: Thrash) than, say, Doom or Black which have a lot of room for exploration. so some old schoolers might be given a pass for continuing their style because, well, they invented it. they blazed the trail. newer acts simply don't have the benefit of doing terribly much new or interesting... combine SSDD (same style, different decade) with the more sterile production that seems rampant nowadays and it is a bit to overcome to even spark anything beyond passing interest.




* some folks are more generous than others...
----
get the fuck off my lawn.
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26.03.2012 - 10:13
Daniell
No, you don't
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.03.2012 at 00:41

Written by Slayer666 on 26.03.2012 at 00:20

What's with all the bitterness towards the new stuff, old-timers?


because 95% of the new stuff is just total and utter crap


That's more or less what I'd answer if Marcel wasn't first. And there is nothing bitter about it at all. It's what we old-timers think. Accept that and please don't try to find non-existent undertones in what we say
----
Now loving:
Katatonia - Takeover
Kreator - World War Now
Ortega - Crows
Ahab - The Light In the Weed
Anaal Nathrakh - Depravity Favours the Bold
Dark Tranquillity - Encircled
Moonsorrow - Ihmisen Aika
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26.03.2012 - 10:42
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Daniell on 26.03.2012 at 10:13
Accept that and please don't try to find non-existent undertones in what we say


You guys have the right to say what you guys think and we also have the right to say what we think which is exactly what we are doing No more no less. Simple as that. Accept it as well.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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26.03.2012 - 10:47
Daniell
No, you don't
Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.03.2012 at 02:28

I hate on a lot of revivalist shit and even some new contemporary stuff. I also happen to like a lot of it too. This album is definitely worthy of an 8+ rating but I think reviewers like Daniel are praising it too much simply because it's Asphyx.


I have never been a massive fan of Asphyx. Back in the day I preferred Death, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, Gorefest, Benediction and some such. Asphyx never struck me as exceptionally great, but I did enjoy them. My enthusiastic reaction to their new album is caused by the simple fact that it's very very good. Even if it deserved an 8 at best, the extra point is added for what this music struck deep within me - a nostalgia for times when there was less stuff around but the general level of quality of what was around was much much higher than now.

You may think it's caused by the fact that people like me, or Marcel, or Craig are older than your average MS user. Maybe it is. But please don't see it as condescending towards people two decades younger - it definitely is not. You need to understand a different point of view that more aged metal fans have. We have listened to all those bands that emerged 25 years ago, 15 years ago, 5 years ago, 5 days ago. Whenever we listen to something new, we inadvertently compare it with things we've heard before. And believe me, if there are 2 bands of similar qulity, the band that we heard 5 years earlier is almost certain to be better.

Take Vallenfyre, a very promiment member of the whole revivalist movement, that was also mentioned in the context of this topic. Their album is very good. When I listen to it, it brings back the memories of the old Swedish death metal wave that contained such classic bands as as Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember or Grave. What's more, Vallenfyre is probably more adept music-wise than Unleashed or Grave ever were. But the album can't be better than, say, Entombed's Left Hand Path, because there is a 20 year gap between them. Revivalists or copycats will always remain just that, and nothing more.

Assuming that you, or any other metal fan that's half my age, will listen to metal in 20 years, you will see precisely what I mean. Let me assure you again, there is nothing condescending in my words, nor do I feel superior in any way to people whose "experience" in metal is 20 years shorter. It is a simple fact - age does affect your perception of music.

On a side note. I often see people over 30 described as "old" here Trust me, you'll be over 30 before you know it (I know, I've been there), and you will see that there is nothing "old" about such age

EDIT: I have another review incoming that is similar in its tone to this one. So don't be surprised when it's up...
----
Now loving:
Katatonia - Takeover
Kreator - World War Now
Ortega - Crows
Ahab - The Light In the Weed
Anaal Nathrakh - Depravity Favours the Bold
Dark Tranquillity - Encircled
Moonsorrow - Ihmisen Aika
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27.03.2012 - 01:11
Dani5050
I've been listening to metal for nearly 18 years does that make me an "old timer" or just middle age?
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27.03.2012 - 01:30
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Dani5050 on 27.03.2012 at 01:11

I've been listening to metal for nearly 18 years does that make me an "old timer" or just middle age?


So that's since 1994, doesn't make you an old timer since you didn't experience most of the genres starting off such as thrash, death, black
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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27.03.2012 - 01:47
Dani5050
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.03.2012 at 01:30

Written by Dani5050 on 27.03.2012 at 01:11

I've been listening to metal for nearly 18 years does that make me an "old timer" or just middle age?


So that's since 1994, doesn't make you an old timer since you didn't experience most of the genres starting off such as thrash, death, black


Yeah that's what I thought I guess I'm off by 15 years then.
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27.03.2012 - 04:03
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Daniell on 26.03.2012 at 10:47
...nor do I feel superior in any way to people whose "experience" in metal is 20 years shorter.

On a side note. I often see people over 30 described as "old" here Trust me, you'll be over 30 before you know it (I know, I've been there), and you will see that there is nothing "old" about such age

I'll be honest and say reviews/posts like this one usually make me think the person believes they are somehow better than the rest of us who aren't as experienced, so it's nice to see you provide some background info and even clarify that you don't get some smug sense of self-satisfaction.

As for 30+ being "old-timers" - only in the world of metal (and more specifically, this site). When I think "old", I think senior citizen (60+ or so depending on where you live). But the majority of people who listen to metal at my age (and younger) tend to fall off the wagon so to speak after about 10 years.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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27.03.2012 - 11:23
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Decent album though i definitely think that the raw grating production is a bit overdone. I'd give it a 7 at best.
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27.03.2012 - 23:47
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Troy Killjoy on 27.03.2012 at 04:03

As for 30+ being "old-timers" - only in the world of metal

There might be A BIT more of them, but they're deep in their closets.
I mean, it's hard for me to imagine that I would stop listening to ALL metal by the time I'm 35 or something. It's pretty much my only hobby right now, I don't know what could replace it, if not other alternative music.
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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27.03.2012 - 23:57
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Daniell on 26.03.2012 at 10:47
Take Vallenfyre


Man did I ever found that album uninspired. It had some good stuff going on but nothing more than that. I liked it on the first listen but then it got worse with every other spin.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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28.03.2012 - 00:07
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Milena on 27.03.2012 at 23:47
It's pretty much my only hobby right now, I don't know what could replace it, if not other alternative music.

And how many people our age do you think say that? Not only do your tastes in music change in 10 years, but you as a person change almost completely. I'm not saying we're all going to abandon metal and become whole new people, but parts of our personalities will change in a decade and for some of us that means losing interest in some things and acquiring new interests.

Your only hobby at 20 is not guaranteed to be your only hobby at 35.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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28.03.2012 - 00:14
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Milena on 27.03.2012 at 23:47

Written by Troy Killjoy on 27.03.2012 at 04:03

As for 30+ being "old-timers" - only in the world of metal

There might be A BIT more of them, but they're deep in their closets.
I mean, it's hard for me to imagine that I would stop listening to ALL metal by the time I'm 35 or something. It's pretty much my only hobby right now, I don't know what could replace it, if not other alternative music.


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.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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28.03.2012 - 00:24
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Haha, bog hance.
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28.03.2012 - 00:54
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.03.2012 at 00:07

And how many people our age do you think say that?

Unlike most people our age, I realize I'm not a special snowflake (let's play "spot the paradox" lol) and that everything changes rapidly and that I won't be doing all the exact same things and socialize with the exact same people in ten years, but this is like a safe place when everything else fails. Ever since I was a young girl, I wanted to dedicate myself to something or someone or whatever and I was trying and falling out of different things, but ever since the moment metal & me clicked, I've felt satisfied and content, I finally had a place where I could invest all my love in. I'll probably have my periods of indifference but I don't think I'll ever fall out of it, unless I give birth to kids and become fully family-absorbed, or if I get stuck in some soul-sucking job or similar. I just hope that won't happen, because I already have plans on catching up with all the metal experiences I missed due to being stuck at this place in the present time when I'm an adult.
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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28.03.2012 - 00:58
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
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.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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28.03.2012 - 00:59
Milena
Learning To "X"
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.
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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01.05.2012 - 06:30
cwadley
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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