Asphyx – Deathhammer

By Chris Dyck

The most crucial thing I have in common with the dudes in Asphyx is a raging Celtic Frost boner. So with that in mind here is the vibe I got from the Dutch death and doom masters’ new record.

I remember liking these guys quite a bit back in the day, but they were always a little flat and I thought Obituary did this type of vocal better, not to mention Obituary stole Cetic Frost riffs better as well. But then Obituary kinda started to suck…Asphyx did not. They have always kept it real and delivered good old fashioned Death Metal, the way it was/is supposed to be. Although it seems like they haven’t musically progressed in however many years, I think that is part of their appeal…nor do they want to change or progress in the slightest.

The first track is short and sweet, took me a second to get into it because Martin’s vocals are slightly comical…not really that evil…bad ass yes, evil no. Once I got to the second song and title track “Deathhammer” shit was getting rad. I don’t wanna say it sounded like this or that, but it reminded me of some of the great bands from Death Metal’s heyday that often get overlooked: Bendiction, Ressurection, Cancer, Unleashed, etc. Cool old school riffs, fuzzed out Massacre guitar sounds, good pummeling drum sounds(mind you this dude is pretty sloppy) and Martin yelling made the first two songs a fun listen and got me stoked about checking out more stuff from other underrated death metal elder statesmen in the near future. The third song “Minefield” is my fave for sure, wicked sludgy Celtic Frost vibe, crushing. Guitar sound on this song was a bit different also, more like, well, new Celtic Frost and Tryptykon…which rules. The rest of the album follows this same path right to the end. There are no surprises here. Would you want any?…like keyboards and clean backing vocals just arent gonna happen anytime soon with these guys.

This is pretty much the same mid-tempo old school shit all the way through. It is exactly how Asphyx wants it, and if you like good quality, be it fairly unoriginal Death Metal then you will fully dig this. If you are looking to expand your musical horizons in any way other than just being stoked and getting metal…stay away. I dig it and when I’m looking for some quick, casual DM, I’ll be checking back in with Asphyx.

(Century Media)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.

  • I really like Asphyx and Hail of Bullets mainly for MVD’s vocals. I never really got into Celtic Frost but after the comparisons you’ve made, I might have to.