Asphyx – Deathhammer

Asphyx

Deathhammer

01. Into The Timewastes
02. Deathhammer
03. Minefield
04. Of Days When Blades Turned Blunt
05. Der Landser
06. Reign Of The Brute
07. The Flood
08. We Doom You To Death
09. Vespa Crabro
10. As The Magma Mammoth Rises

[02/28/12]
[Century Media Records]

Death metal isn’t exactly what you would call my forte as a metal fan. It’s always been the most difficult genre for me to delve into for reasons that I find hard to vocalize. I like all of the individual parts that make up death metal, but often times I find the music to be too dysfunctional and less cohesive than I would like, which really brings down the listening experience. Asphyx’s Deathhammer is not like that at all. Everything is concise, powerful, and brutal — or brootz as I will refer to it from now on – which makes sense; Deathhammer is the eighth studio album from these Dutch heavy metallers, and their second since their reformation a few years ago; these guys have had a long career and it’s clear they have had the time to iron out the problems in their sound, and to get the precise method of madness that suits them. Deathhammer is another powerful release from a band who are comfortable and competent in their given field, and an experience I truly enjoyed, despite it being a death metal album.

First off, as I said above, all of the music feels very concise and whole. Nothing really meanders or drags on too long, and each song is relatively short, with a few exceptions. The guitar leads are strong and carry you through the song at a break-neck pace, and the drumming is competent and complimentary – if not a bit stagnant at times. The vocals are visceral and have a depth that really draws the listener in and shows off an intimate sound that is both aggressive and sorrowful.

The only downside of this album that I can bring to mind is that it lacks a certain sort of creative flair; it feels safe, and typical of the genre. Nothing new is put on display and it pulls the entire experience down. Some people may like the samey feel throughout, but in my eyes(ears) it’s not really a good thing when you feel like you’ve just sat through the same song nine times over. It’s irritating, and not very conducive to multiple listens.

Deathhammer is a good album, but it’s not exceptional. It’s average on all fronts, and there’s not much else I can say about it. Everything sounds nice, but the lack of diversity or creativity really brings it down, and because of that nothing feelings very memorable. The band reminds me of Amon Amarth; they know what kind of music they like to play and they’re going to continue to play music that way forever, without any need to change or diversify. It’s not a bad thing inherently, but it’s definitely not good. In the end, Deathhammer is fun album for a few spins, but it’s not something that will be hailed as a classic. Give it a listen and kill some time.

Asphyx – Deathhammer gets…

3/5

– EC

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXhyzGc7_pc]

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