Asphyx - Incoming Death
Century Media
Death/Doom Metal
13 songs (54' 56")
Release year: 2016
Asphyx, Century Media
Reviewed by Andy

Two weeks ago, Asphyx visited my fair city with a sold-out show. Reeling home, deaf from a truly fantastic musical assault and battered by all the fun in the mosh pit, it occurred to me that we hadn't yet reviewed their latest LP, Incoming Death. Which is quite the oversight, because in Incoming Death the band has turned out a fantastic sample of their trademark doom/death hybrid, worthy of Death...The Brutal Way.

Basically the band seems to have taken everything listeners liked in past albums and turned it up a notch. I've heard a few complaints about the production, but I rather like its blunt edges; the drums are pushed a bit further back in the mix in favor of a bass-heavy production with buzz-saw guitar distortion. Martin van Drunen's vocals, sung with a grim relish, are hoarser and more...well...asphyxiated-sounding than ever before, and the lyrics sicker: In addition to the band's usual war and space-invasion themes, Candiru's subject should make chills run down every male spine, and The Feeder is a cartoon exercise in gore. And when the band indulges its doom side, such as on The Grand Denial, the musicianship on it gives as much shrift to crushing melodic doom as to ass-kicking death metal.

The doomy portions are actually the weakest part of the album. Not because they aren't good in themselves; it's just that old-school death metal is such an Asphyx strength that it's easy to grow impatient with the doom metal. In their typical style, however, Asphyx cuts the melancholy with chunky, palm-muted riffing. Where they really let themselves go in the doom metal department is on Death: The Only Immortal, an eight-minute slog with two minutes worth of dragging lead soloing. Those who are only fond of Asphyx for their death metal songs may grow pretty tired of this one before it's over, though I really started liking that one after a listen or two. More appealing to pure death metal listeners might be It Came From the Skies and the title track. Or, perhaps, the two covers tacked on the end as bonus tracks on some versions of the album: Winter's Servants of the Warsmen and Master's eponymous track. The band picked their material well, and cover both songs with a ferocity and enthusiasm that more than does them justice, so getting an edition that has the covers is highly recommended.

Purists may not call Incoming Death the best album Asphyx has ever done -- it doesn't break much new ground -- but that's beside the point. Asphyx delivers more of what its listeners want on Incoming Death, and the result is a fun-to-listen-to blast of death metal mixed with doom. Most Asphyx fans will be well-pleased.

Killing Songs :
It Came From the Skies, Incoming Death, Death: The Only Immortal -- plus the two covers
Andy quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Asphyx that we have reviewed:
Asphyx - Necroceros reviewed by Goat 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 - Death... The Brutal Way reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Asphyx - The Rack reviewed by Goat and quoted 74 / 100
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