Dutch death/doom metal veterans Asphyx are back with their tenth studio album “Necroceros” to be released on January 22nd, 2021 via Century Media Records. Since 1987 the Dutchmen developed a rather unique sound of old school death metal. In the early years of their career, Asphyx released some unforgettable classics like “The Rack” and “Last One on Earth”, where these two albums clearly defined the raw and pulverizing identity of their craftsmanship. In spite of the stylistic and line-up changes in the past, the turning point of their career was in 2007 when the band reunited with the legendary vocalist Martin Van Drunen (ex-Hail of Bullets, The Supreme Blood Court, and ex-Pestilence). Asphyx‘s latest albums such as “Death… the Brutal Way” elevated them to the top echelon of death metal bands worldwide. With their follow-up 2012 album “Deathhammer” the band once again raised the bar high.
The five year long gap between their last release “Incoming Death” and the latest output sees them focusing on the core of the songwriting. “Necroceros” shows the unprecedented scale and power of this band as it perfectly captures the brutal sound of classic death/doom metal. The current line-up is comprised of Martin Van Drunen (vocals), Paul Baayens (guitars), Alwin Zuur (bass guitars), and the newly joined member Stefan Hüskens (drums). “The Sole Cure Is Death” begins with an opening salvo of heavy militaristic riffs and aggression exploding into fury. From the rapid onset of infectious riffs and drums engaging in gigantic beats, Asphyx shows us new abilities to infuse the songs with high energy. “Necroceros” brings a solid mixture of dynamic grooves, monstrous riffs, and frenzied vocal delivery.
The elements of doom metal are presented in the slow and mid-pacing sections. “Molten Black Earth” will make your face melt with the slow doom transitions and catchy guitar hooks combined into the song structure. Besides the colossal slab of brutality that is carried by organic riffing, the drums wreak havoc and unleash a deluge of crushing beats. “Mount Skull” moves into slow monolithic riffing and machine-gun-like riffs and heavy artillery of the drums rounding up destructive shells of hellfire fury.
While the crushing blows of percussion provide a powerful force, the rhythm guitars build strong dynamics. The track gradually shifts from mid-tempo to a doomy crescendo. The heavy dynamics of “Knights Templar Stands” prove that Asphyx has been empowering their artillery barrage with intense drumming moving the track into up-tempo to climax. “Three Years of Famine” is probably one of Asphyx‘s most melodic tracks ever written where the song offers some excellent melodic lead guitars albeit with slow doomy orientation the songwriting feels quite focused.
The brutal and sadistic treat “Botox Implosion” suddenly erupts in fierce aggression. The track is carried by potent death metal riffs, grinding drums and maniacal grunts. Asphyx creates measured chaos yet again. “In Blazing Oceans” keeps a steady mid-tempo pace whereas the lead guitar improvises on catchy guitar lines. Despite the album’s fifty minutes of running time, the album never gets boring. This time Asphyx found creative ideas to maneuver a little further from the themes of war and destruction. Thematically “Necroceros” is centered on a creepy extraterrestrial being who devours the universe turning life into the void.
The transitional grooves on “The Nameless Elite” is propelled by solid drumming. Vocalist Martin Van Drunen ejects deep guttural growls and gives a massive performance throughout the album. “Yield or Die” is played rather slow where Asphyx captures the core of old school riffs. As to the song-writing and production, the latest album sounds quite raw with focused riffs and memorable melodies. The Dutch battalion meticulously emphasizes their brand of death metal to engulf the world in all-devouring flames.
Between the crushing brutalities, Asphyx also brings magnitude to the slow tunes of old school death/doom metal. Without losing any sort of jaw-dropping intensity, the final track “Necroceros” is another standout piece of music structured on monolithic riffs. With the full force of hammering drums and lumbering pace of the guitars, Asphyx keeps high focus and maintains its modern sound of death/doom metal. If you thought that “Deathhammer” was their best album yet, then wait till you hear this beast!!! “Necroceros” is a great comeback album from the Dutch death metal elites.
Release Date: January 21st, 2021
Label: Century Media Records
- The Sole Cure Is Death
- Molten Black Earth
- Mount Skull
- Knights Templar Stand
- Three Years of Famine
- Botox Implosion
- In Blazing Oceans
- The Nameless Elite
- Yield or Die