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Album Reviews : Asphyx – Death…The Brutal Way

By on August 19, 2009

asphyx_album250Asphyx were one of the first death metal bands I got into when I was discovering the genre in the early 90s so, needless to say, when I read that they were back together and soon to release a new album on long term label Century Media it was a mandatory purchase.

“Death…The Brutal Way” sees vocalist Martin Van Drunen (whose resume includes time in Pestilence, Bolt-Thrower and most recently Hail Of Bullets) reunited with drummer and founding member Bob Bagchus. They are joined by Wannes Gubbels on bass/vocals, who sang for the band on their last release “On The Wings Of Inferno” in 2000, and guitarist Paul Baayens who is also in Hail Of Bullets as well as Thanatos.

The reformation stems back to repeated requests for the band to play at the Party.San Festival in 2007 which was a great success and, following further rehearsals, it was decided to record a new album that easily picks up from where the Van Drunen fronted Asphyx left off with “Last One On Earth” in 1992.

From the opening song “Scorbutics”, which was actually the first new song written for the album, it is uncanny how accurately they have captured the distinctive sound of that period, particularly the guitars, despite the fact that original guitarist Eric Daniels did not return due to other commitments.

As soon as you press play the trademark ebbs and flows of the past remain intact whether it is the rapid pummelling of the title track, the lyrics of which are a clear summation of their intent (“merchants of brutality, death our only rule”) or the oppressive dirges of “Asphyx II (They Died As They Marched)” and “Cape Horn”.

The limited edition of the album also comes with a bonus DVD of the aforementioned reunion show that restarted this juggernaut rolling which is good quality and serves as an excellent compilation of their “greatest hits” from the past (assuming that such a thing can exist in death metal!).

From the above you might detect an element of bias on my behalf, and that may be true to a degree, but there have been many comebacks that have disappointed and sullied a legacy however I would certainly state that is not the case here by any means.

“Death…The Brutal Way” is much more than a mere exercise in nostalgia and it deserves more of a push than it is getting from Century Media here in Australia so make the effort, track it down and subject yourself to some pure death metal done the brutal way! 9/10

Band: Asphyx
Album: Death…The Brutal Way
Year: 2009
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Century Media
Origin: Netherlands

Track Listing:
1. Scorbutics
2. The Herald
3. Bloodswamp
4. Death The Brutal Way
5. Asphyx II (They Died As They Marched)
6. Eisenbahnmorser
7. Black Hole Storm
8. Riflegun Redeemer
9. Cape Horn
10. The Saw, The Torture, The Pain

Review by Peter Schulz


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.