Thursday, 28 July 2011
After few demo tapes and an album, which at the time (1992) wasn't released and even finished, Asphyx came to the point in their career, when they either split up (especially as Theo Loomans, vocalist / bassist, has left the band) or survive the hard times with a raised head. And so they added a dude named Martin Van Drunen for vocals / bass duties, a person known well from his works with another Dutch legend Pestilence and carried on with new release, which they decided to be a five-track 12" EP (titled the same as their demo from 1989), for new label, Century Media.
I must honestly say don't like the production of "Crush the Cenotaph" as much as I like the one on "Embrace the Death" LP. It's more polished and not as obscure, which is probably a shame, but still this is probably one of my favorite recordings from Woodhouse Studio, as I don't like the production of many albums that have been recorded there. Also luckily Asphyx hasn't changed their attitude towards writing simple, pure death metal songs, with the special care on the dark atmosphere and with splendid mixture of mid paced and heavy slow riffing. And so all three songs on side A of the vinyl are standard Asphyx songs. "Crush the Cenotaph" is the fatest one, I guess, and I love this track. It doesn't take much time before I find myself banging my skull in the rhythm of the furious section and morbid riffs. Its version on "Embrace the Death" was great and so is this one. "Rites of Shades" is bit slower, but probably also slightly catchier, as the main riffs are really possessing. And then "The Krusher", which will shred you to pieces easily. Adding Martin to the band definitely gave Asphyx an extra amount of ferocity, he surely did amazing job here, screaming and vomiting his lines like a maniac with an enormous energy.
Side B has two songs only and what's more, they've been recorded live, in Stockholm, November the 30th of 1991. Both "Evocation" and "Wasteland of Terror" sound rather rough, but good enough to be on this release. I guess you all know them from "The Rack" album, but I must say they're two great tracks, especially "Wasteland of Terror" must have slaughtered the fans gathered in Stockholm. It sounds like there was one pure death metal insanity, well documented on this live recording.
When I listen to this EP, I always have early Morgoth recordings in my mind. I always loved both bands equally and can say that for many years I've been missing new bands, which would play something in similar vein to these two legendary acts. Luckily we've been blessed by those from below with new old school death metal acts, many of which, take the influence from early Asphyx (and Morgoth)... But it's always amazing to come back to those old, classic recordings. They simply don't get old that easily and even if I might have got bit older since the first time I've listened to them (and in "Crush the Cenotaph" that would be about 15 years now), the feeling of morbid joy and chills going through my body are still there. This is what I call classic band.
Best song: "Crush the Cenotaph"
Final rate: 85 / 100