Asphyx – Necroceros (Century Media)Thursday, 14th January 2021
Not exactly an act in need of an introduction, Asphyx have been championing death metal for over 30 years to date. With some certified classics in their back catalog, as well as their combination of hard-hitting death metal with a pinch of doom here and there, they’ve accomplished many feats and rightfully heralded much acclaim. Necroceros isn’t going to change the course of the band’s storied history, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fine reminder of why the band has been able to be successful for such an extended period of time.
All of the hallmarks of Asphyx’s sound are here and they are operating at maximum level. This isn’t an act that is going to put out a mediocre name and simply skate by on name alone. Asphyx turn on the steamrollers once again, and give fans the death metal flattening that they have been waiting for. Truthfully speaking, the band is at their best when they aren’t hammering away at top speed, and much of the album’s highlights stem from the doomier and slower-paced moments, where the melodies mesh brilliantly with the oppressive riffs and Martin van Drunen’s instantly recognizable screams. “Three Years of Famine” does this quite well, with crawling yet infectious riffing and some dark melodies swirling around at a plodding pace yet pulling in the listener with a sense of both dread and urgency. With a longer runtime, it even allows for some cold, acoustic atmosphere to permeate the sound, adding to the sense of despair and melancholy the track basks in. “Mount Skull” yearns to grind down the listener with a solid mid-tempo base for the upticks in speed to work off of. Not that the band can’t bring some snarling rage from time to time though, as “Botox Implosion” viciously showcases, alongside the stomp-friendly opener “The Sole Cure is Death.”
Continuing to provide high quality death metal with some notes of gloomy despair on the side, Asphyx prove that they haven’t lost a step yet. Necroceros is memorable, full of rage, and sure to deliver all of the goods that fans both new and old will enjoy.