13 April 2012

Altar of Blood, Altar of Pain

Asphyx (Netherlands)
The Rack
April 13, 1991

Fuck yeah, Friday the thirteenth! Let's bust out some old school death metal horror! So Asphyx have released their latest -post, -post, -post breakup album, Deathhammer, as everyone knows of course. I'm not a big fan of band reunions, or comeback albums, etc. It's not that I'm against the reasons for reforming or anything, or the idea behind coming back together to relive something long past or whatnot, I just find that in the vast majority of cases, the new albums suck compared to the old ones. To me that doesn't necessarily imply their reputation is tarnished in any way. If anything, it makes me listen back to the classics that much more. Granted, Asphyx have not been idle for a few years now, but they've got me pumping out their influential early-90's classics despite the wealth of new material. The Rack is a significant contribution particularly to the Netherlands extreme music scene, but also had far reaching impact elsewhere. They took an approach to death metal with a lot of punk attitude, combining bludgening post-Pestilence power and Van Drunen's unhinged vocal snarls ala Autopsy or Obituary, sped up Discharge-fed d-beat intensity with crushing epic Celtic Frost doom marches, all scoured in grimy crust. Worth it for the title track alone, it's a fucking beast. Stream below.

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