Friday, September 23, 2016

Asphyx : "Incoming Death"

This Dutch death metal band released their first full length in 1991 and have been storming the gates with their very manic take on the genre ever since. Their lead growler did some time in Pestilence, which gives them an edge over being just another death metal band from the 90s. There is more of dry snarling rasp to his weathered voice.  He is also the sole long standing member of the band. These guys are upholding a legacy of a band that hailed from  an era where writing songs came before just being heavy. For the first two song that certainly does the trick for me though I begin to wonder what else can they do?  They do a pretty good job of recreating the feeling of 90's death metal. By the time we get to the third song some of the charm is wearing off of this.

There is a great deal of energy thrusting the riffs of "the Feeder" in your face. They lyrics seem to be about some kind of sci-fi parasite. There is an almost Obituary like gurgle to Martin's tortured vocals chords. 'It Came From the Skies" describes the horror of cosmic rays with a very Slayer influence riff coming out of the verse. This song is compact and catchy , which is a winning combination for these guys. There is a more doom like deliberation to "the Grand Denial" which also makes it one of this album's most convincing songs. They even take this song out with a clean guitar section. Thy go back to raging  on the title track. There is a bigger gallop to "Forerunners of the Apocalypse" which you can check out below. They get darker on " Subterra Incognita". Unlike Auroch whose album I also reviewed today these guys have the needed restraint to not ruin a good thing with un-needed blast of speed and ride the shadow waves of this more brooding beast. They do build the song, but just don't bust into blasting haphazardly.

They do speed up into a more rabid thrashing, but one with a solid groove to it on "Wildland Fire" it reminds me of some of Obituary's more uptempo moments and allows their drummer to show off his double bass. Here the do cut loose more and let their acceleration carry them way in a few places. They same one of the best songs for last in closing with "Death the Only Immortal". It has one of the meanest bass tones I have heard in some time. I'll give this album an 8.5. It has some strong moments and shows great maturation as a band due to it's restraint. When it comes to death metal this might not not always be dark enough for me. If you like straight up no frills death metal from the 90s then this is your jam go ahead a round it up.

Century Media is releasing this album September 30th.

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