Asphyx - _On the Wings of Inferno_
(Century Media, 2000)
by: Alvin Wee (
If good, brutal old-school death is what you're hankering after, what better merchants to turn to than a legendary Dutch troop who's grown up with the likes of Pestilence? "Death, the brutal way!!!" is what the trio claim to offer, and shunning the machine-gun speedrumming of Krisiun or Mortician has yielded terrifying results. All but the most inattentive of death metal fans will know that Asphyx have advocated mid-paced, heavy-as-fuck death since their humble beginnings with _The Rack_, and _OtWoI_ is no different. Wannes Gubbels' (on loan from countrymen Pentacle) typically torrid Dutch cries evoke fond memories of Martin van Drunen days, and provide an anguished counterpoint to Eric Daniels' plodding, pounding riffage. It is this combination which makes the title track the most massively heavy death metal since Brutality's _Screams of Anguish_. Slow, crushing and inexorable, the monumental riffs plod menacingly onward as Wannes' tortured cries presage your doom! An exercise in heaviness unparalleled by the lightning-fast bands of today, despite the intro riff having (apparently) been taken straight off Bolt Thrower's "Final Revelation". Just throw on _War Master_ and you'll see! And like old Bolt Thrower, Asphyx seldom lose their composure, preferring a strictly rhythmic, almost martial tone throughout the album. If you've been pining for some old-fashioned pounding death the way it hasn't been done for years, _OtWoI_ is just the cure for you. All 29 minutes of it.
(article published 12/8/2000)
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