I am so off the ball today, it’s probably not even in the same court. Impending midterm and assignment deadlines do not make me a very happy panda, but Asphyx have brought the Deathhammer to make me feel much, much more satisfied.
Let me just start by staying Asphyx are old, like founded in 1987, 14 releases under their belt old. That being said, this is my first experience with them, my opinions are based off this album and this album only, I don’t really care when/who/what the best time in their history was, it ain’t that time anymore.
From the opening howl of the title track, “This is true death metal you bastards!”, Asphyx play exactly that. Filthy, vile and as catchy as the plague, they opt out of the wankery and ambiance that most bands go for and instead keep the pure evil on the maximum. Bringing the best elements of classic death metal and some of it’s blackened doom sister, “Deathhammer” takes turns flipping from a full bore satanic gallop to a demonically sluggish crawl.
The guitar tone is chock full of crunch and pure hate, bringing to mind a cloven footed monstrosity crushing the brittle bones of the damned as marches forward to bring suffering to the earth. “Deathhammer” is stripped of the frills that now define it’s genre. Dizzying blast beats are traded in for a funeral dirge from the seventh circle, while blistering technicality is swapped out for an emphasis on complete and unholy songwriting. It’s new-old school at it’s best, reminding people that sometimes you don’t need guitar wizardry and proggy licks to sell albums, all you need is a big steaming glob of pure evil and some wax to throw it at.
“Deathhammer” was released last month and is available at all the major outlets through Century Media. Got the video for the title track below along with your usual links.