Asphyx - Death... The Brutal Way
Ibex Moon Records
Doom-infused Death Metal
10 songs (49:27)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Goat

As much as fans of classic Death Metal have been looking forwards to this day for years, you can’t help but feel a twinge of regret that last year’s Hail Of Bullets project stole the thunder on the Asphyx reformation, even if it was the inspiration. Hopefully, you all will already know that the former was simply awesome, taking that core Death Metal sound and running it through a rather kickass World War II topic to create an album that few old-schoolers could resist. Speaking plainly, the fact is that unfortunately (and it can’t be said any way other than bluntly) Death... The Brutal Way is not as good an album as ...Of Frost And War – neither in intensity, songwriting nor simple Death Metal ass-kickingness. Yet if you are a fan of Asphyx (and if you’re not, then a vital gene is missing in your Death Metal DNA!) then this is by no means anything other than a vital purchase, as van Drunen and co are channelling the spirit of the past almost perfectly, with hardly a single modern influence to be found. In being one of the few bands to effectively combine Doom and Death Metal, Asphyx have always been a standard-bearer for the genre in a way that the less-well known bands could never be, and on this album the fruits of their labour are clear.

Let’s be honest, these songs kick a lot of ass, catchy opening blast Scorbutics alone seizing your attention like a blood-covered madman at an opera, and the likes of The Herald going on to perfectly walk the line between epic atmosphere and hot headbanging action. If the title track doesn’t blow you away with its sheer old-school attack, then you aren’t worthy, it’s as simple as that, and there are few dips in quality throughout. Asphyx II (They Died As They Marched) especially slows the pace down and forces your face into the sludge until you suffocate, then holds you down a few seconds more, providing a dose of Doom that few (any?) other Death Metal bands could provide. Of course, there’s a fair bit of speed present if you want a break from the soul-churning atmospherics; Eisenbahnmörser will get the curious Thrashers entranced, the riffs coming thick and fast, whilst Riflegun Redeemer builds up wonderfully until it kicks into full speed, the subsequent slow-down so perfect that few will utter a word of complaint.

Sure, Black Hole Storm may open with some ominous piano before it starts to kick your head in, switching nicely between epic Doom and trench-level Death Metal warfare, but we all know what we want from an Asphyx album, and whilst Hail Of Bullets will hang over this band like the sword of Damocles forever, as long as Asphyx continue to write songs as intense and pounding as Bloodswamp they’ll have a place in the stony Death Metal heart. Face it: Martin van Drunen is the ultimate Death Metal frontman, not quite as freaked out here as he was on ...Of Frost And War but still several emotional levels beyond your average growler, and he leads the band to ultimate victory, the Doom elements providing that extra burst of power to ensure that Asphyx are still several miles above your modern pretender to the Death Metal throne. Of course, if you’re coming to this expecting something akin to Candlemass then you’ll be sadly disappointed, but if you are reading this wanting your Death Metal to truly choke off the oxygen until you’re desperate for air, then Asphyx are the essential point of call.

Killing Songs :
Scorbutics, The Herald, Asphyx II (They Died As They Marched), Black Hole Storm, The Saw The Torture The Pain
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Asphyx that we have reviewed:
Asphyx - Necroceros reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Asphyx - Incoming Death reviewed by Andy and quoted 87 / 100
Asphyx - Deathhammer reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Asphyx - Last One On Earth reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Asphyx - The Rack reviewed by Goat and quoted 74 / 100
2 readers voted
Your quote was: 80.
Change your vote

There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:51 am
View and Post comments