Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Asphyx - Death... the Brutal Way

Asphyx - Death... the Brutal Way (CENTURY MEDIA - LP 2009)
Fucking hell, finally!!!!!!
Few years ago I've never even dreamed about Asphyx coming back to the scene, but here it is - their first album since 1999's awesome „In the Wings of Inferno”. Of course one could be slightly sceptical about all these reunions and shit, but personally I had a lot of faith in the band. Their other new project, called Hail of Bullets, which features Martin van Drunen and new guitarist Paul Baayens, proved the guys to be in good form and the 7"EP "Death... the Brutal Way" also has been a pleasant addition to my death metal collection. And now, when I've listened to the album several times, I must be honest, I think this album is much beyond my imagination, it truly is the BEST (!!!) offering this band has ever recorded and I'm so amazed by its awesomeness that I can listen to it all the time. It was worth exhuming the band and smell the putrid stench again!
Of course the main question was how the band will sound without Eric Daniels, who unfortunately didn't participate in the reforming of Asphyx. Hell, I must really admit that Paul Baayens has done the best possible effort in resurrecting the classic asphyxiating spirit. His way of playing reminds the Daniels' one very much, he composed songs, which truly fit the band's style and could easily be taken from the cult albums like "The Rack" and "Last One On Earth", with the brilliant mixture of ravage, aggressive playing and slow, doomy parts; he even played many of these incredibly sorrowful guitar melodic leads, that Daniels was so famous for and man, they do fuckin shred! And the best thing about Baayens' participation in reformation of Asphyx is that he actually managed to compose the strongest material the band has ever recorded. It is truly incredible, but there's no single riff or song that I wouldn't like and I think this actually is the PERFECT album!!!
I don't know how that's possible, ask the band how they've managed to do it, but just listen to the songs and if you won't get killed instantly with the opening slaughter of "Scorbutics", then you must be either deaf or be Lady Gaga's fan. "Death... the Brutal Way" is a collection of amazing songs, death metal hymns that have incredible dark and rotten feeling, are catchy, energetic, but brutal as fuck and it doesn't matter if it's slower part or mid paced riff, it all just fuckin shreds. And remember also that the album welcomes Martin van Drunen back in the band. I wouldn't mind Wannes Gubbels singing on it, as he has similar voice, but it's so good to see Martin back on the scene and with one of the best bands ever. He already did fantastic job on the first Hail of Bullets album, but here he probably has done some of his best vocals in his career.
And the songs... As I said, they're all totally great and offer something killer, without any filler. If you're into more aggressive and faster or mid paced playing, then you'll love "Scorbutics" (with pirate themed lyrics, is it Running Wild worship or what??) - totally killer song, then there’s "The Herald" (with very slow mid part, where Baayens plays his first of many fantastic mournful solos on the album), "Eisenbahnmörser" (another great world war II piece), total headbanger of "Bloodswamp", with which your skull will fall off such intense will the headbanging be... Or the title song, which is a new Asphyx official anthem, with great lyrics about the band's comeback and their old school attitude of playing brutal death metal. Wonderful. And if you're into more atmospheric, slower and massive doomy songs, that are as heavy as fuckin' moon and are able to crush the Chinese wall, then you'll like "Asphyx II" (again, amazing solo and definitely one of the best songs on the album!), which is definitely the slowest track here or the shuttering "Black Hole Storm".
The production on "Death... the Brutal Way" is very crispy, very aggressive and brutal, I love the way the guitars sound, and the drums are like thunders. Very classic production, with the old school rawness, but at the same time it's clean and full of energy.
In the end I must not only recommend this album, I belief it has to be in the collection of every die hard death metal maniac or old school freak, but I also must recommend getting the vinyl edition of "Death... the Brutal Way". I do know it may be quite difficult now, as it's been sold out quite fast, as the limited edition of 666 isn't much, but the vinyl do fuckin looks great. It's wonderful gatefold, with huge band poster, nicely looking layout with the band photos and the inner sleeve with the lyrics... Well, it is definitely one of the favourite jewels in my vinyl collection. Absolutely perfect and much welcome comeback!
PS. Limited CD version comes with bonus DVD featuring the band's entire reunion show from 2007's Party San festival in Bad Berka. Well, having vinyl is enough for me, but I've downloaded the DVD and must say it was one hellishly good show. If you can't get the LP, buy this limited CD then!
Best songs: ALL OF THEM!!!
Final score: 100 / 100

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