ASPHYX has been paying the death metal dues since the late 80’s, with their disciplined balance between relentless speed and slow, crawling riffs, creating a cauldron of searing, uncompromising metal. Deathhammer, the band’s eighth full-length, sees the band continue where their excellent comeback album Death the Brutal Way left off.
Openers “Into the Timewastes” and the title track strike hard and fast, setting the stage for the album. The intensity never lets up as much as it slows down, significantly on “Minefield,” where the band approaches almost funeral-doom levels. Despite the tempo drop, the aggression is maintained, and in some cases, is drawn out, milking every anguished riff for all it’s worth, not allowing even the riffs or the listener a chance to breathe.
The band picks things up, weaving in and out of songs that build, pound and crush, keeping the listener’s head moving, while tempering catchier material such as “Reign of the Brute” and “The Flood” with snail’s paced, lava flowing tracks, such as the aptly titled “We Doom You To Death” and “Der Landser”. Closing track, “As the Magma Mammoth Rises”, incorporates elements of both, perfectly summing up the album.
Deathhammer delivers top-notch, no-frills meat and potatoes death metal played with an honesty and conviction, which is something we should expect from these purveyors of death metal. Bow down to the Deathhammer. (Century Media Records)