Asphyx - _Death... The Brutal Way_
(Ibex Moon Records, 2009)
by: Aaron McKay (9.5 out of 10)
Nearly dominating the 1990s, Asphyx, for the old-schoolers among our ranks, marks their welcome return with _Death... The Brutal Way_. Not only is this an apt title for these Dutch metal lords, but a longtime philosophy as well. If they couldn't serve up their particular style of uncompromising death dealing delivery in brutal fashion, you weren't listening to Asphyx.

There is obviously a certain amount of trepidation opening up rudimentary memories of a band so fundamental in formulating a listener's particular taste. After a notable seven year hiatus, this notion is even more logical. Well... forget that! _Death... The Brutal Way_ punctuates Asphyx's return with a colossally defiant heart-stomping, soul-wrenching cry. There are libraries filled with novels, writings and tomes on the benefits of experience. This is a lesson not lost on this incredible four-piece outfit.

Adding fuel to the welcome back celebration, Martin van Drunen triumphantly rejoins his fellow band mates after being notably absent on the self titled _Asphyx_ in '94, _God Cries_ in '96, the solitary Soulburn effort, _Feeding on Angels_ in '97. The year 2000 saw a tumultuous time surrounding the chunky, abundantly pounding _On the Wings of Inferno_ with the departure again of Asphyx's original guitarist, Eric Daniels.

Advance seven years -- _Death... The Brutal Way_ is out-damn-standing in its primeval power, raw emotion and devastating impunity. Not a band for being pigeonholed, this veteran group embraces subtle stylistic variances moving between sludgy mid-tempo to faster riff-spectacular cuts to the doomiest mixing of form (chief among them being track six "Asphyx II (They Died as They Marched") on this the new effort, Asphyx never fails to engage and keep the listener enthralled.

If seven years in the metal wilderness is what was required for Martin Van Drunen, Paul Baayens, Wannes Gubbels and founding drumming / member Bob Bagchus to issue a manifesto of this magnitude, the wait was more than worth it. The only thing better could possibly be an unparalleled North American tour; nothing like seeing this band live. Welcome back, gentlemen. Welcome back!


(article published 16/8/2009)

8/12/2000 A Wee 8 Asphyx - On the Wings of Inferno
6/9/1996 A Wasylyk 7 Asphyx - God Cries
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