Asphyx – Incoming Death

Rating

If you don’t think Martin van Drunen has one of the best voices in death metal then you either haven’t heard him or you have no idea what good is. If it is the latter then stop reading because you obviously couldn’t care less about punishingly good death metal. Asphyx‘s newest album Incoming Death starts off with a whizz banger “Candiru” and moves on to more than a solid death metal experience.

There are bands that don’t change and you wished they would, and there are bands that change when you don’t want them too and now they suck. Then there are bands who know what they are; they have honed their particular style through the years and you can count on them to sound exactly how you want them to. This was a rarity in the late 90’s up to the mid 2000’s. Even Slayer arguably altered their sound in the mid 90’s for a time. I had been listening to one of Asphyx’s earlier efforts in the form of 2009’s Death…The Brutal Way in anticipation of Incoming Death and with that album as it is with this one there is no bullshit.

It’s the punishing guitar work of Paul Baayens that keeps the sadomasochism going. From the get go it is a methodical calculation of timing and heaviness. It slows down when it needs to build; it’s fast when you need that hit of meth. A particularly good example of this is the third track Wardroid. The tempo plods along and slows down even more before the band hits the vein with an injection of heavy shit. The album continues along leaving bodies in its wake. From slow numbers like “The Feeder” to circle pit classics of “It Came From The Skies.” This album is exactly what a death metal fan of the old style craves. It hits the fix in the right spot.

“The Grand Denial” is a different kind of animal; it’s the twist on the album without being out of place. It’s a slow burn epic that builds into a crescendo of a ripping riff and then ends with an eerie slow melody accentuated with an acoustic guitar. Is this album slowing down? The next track “Incoming Death” says no. It may be the fastest track on the album. The shortest as well, coming in under two minutes. Continuing on, the rest of the album is pure death metal goodness.

Even as you near the end the songs don’t get weaker. “Wildland Fire” has yet another riff of narcotic leanings. The album’s epic closer “Death The Only Immortal” is a solid track. Weighing in at a full eight minutes, it’s the longest track. When Martin spews his acid soaked vocals screaming “Death The Only Immortal” – with the heavy thump of the guitars and drums it’s what the devil intended metal to be. With the album conclusion you can nod off after the high you’ve just injected from an excellent foray into a classic death metal sound from a band of no compromise.

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Matt Lewis

Former impresario of rock stars, purveyor of instrument playing. An admirer of most noise except the Tr00 variety, never understood that racket. A fan of hockey, video games and words on a page in novel and graphic form.

8.5 Rating

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