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Album Reviews : Asphyxia – Asphyxia

By on July 29, 2008

Adelaide’s Asphyxia are a very young band, with an average age of only 17 years old, which is quite amazing because for the most part, they don’t sound like an inexperienced band. The band’s debut, self-titled album is comprised of a mix of melodic and progressive death metal, some thrash riffing, and the occasional hint of tech-death. What makes these guys differ slightly from other similar bands is that they generally have a slightly more positive sound rather than the somewhat haunting, sinister sound of bands like Opeth or Pathogen. I can’t really tell why they create a different mood, perhaps it’s the occasional thrashy riffing, or perhaps it’s the lack of keyboards. Regardless of what it is, it’s a positive thing on some tracks but a negative thing on others.

After the beautiful acoustic intro (cleverly titled “Intro”), Asphyxia blast straight into the heavier stuff with “Silvertongue”, however the song eventually develops into a slower, more progressive track with some fantastic soloing toward the end and a fairly catchy chorus. “Horrific Reign” opens with some eerie sound effects and haunting guitars over the top, a sound which I think they should use more often, but it subsides fairly quickly with some nice bass work (which is thankfully very prominent for most of this album) and some riffing that demonstrates some of their tech-death influence. “Defiled” sounds almost like a grind song in parts with some of their fastest work and vocals quickly switching between higher and lower growls. “The Hooded Figure” begins with some more great bass work and guitars that remind me a lot of Blotted Science’s recent album. The album drops off a bit there with a few tracks that are solid, but don’t stand up to the earlier material, before picking up again with the heavy “Dragonlore” which features some of their best and most professional sounding material on both the tech and melodic sides of their music.

There are times when parts don’t really blend together too well, solo’s that sound like they’ve just been thrown into the song without much cohesion at either end, and parts that just sound generally out of place, but this is an area where I can see the band improving over time. One thing I would like to hear is a greater use of acoustics in their songs, because the album intro track is fantastic and I was a tad disappointed to not hear more of that.

The guitar-work is top notch, the technical drumming is very impressive, and the greater use of bass is great to hear. The deeper vocals are awesome, very powerful (see “World Overthrown” in particular), but some of the higher growls could use a bit of work.

This is a great album full of very solid material, and I can only see the band improving from here. Keep an eye on these guys! 7/10

Band: Asphyxia
Album: Asphyxia
Year: 2008
Genre: Melodic death/progressive/thrash
Label: Independant
Origin: Adelaide, Australia
http://www.myspace.com/asphyxiametal

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Silvertongue
3. Horrific Reign
4. Defiled
5. The Hooded Figure
6. Blood and Snow
7. Martyr
8. World Overthrown
9. Dragonlore <- Reviewers Choice
10. Outro

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.