Asphyx "The Rack" CDPosted on Friday, June 20th, 2008 @ 5:51am » permalink
I was never a big fan of now legendary Dutch death metal outfit Asphyx as a kid 'cause for some insane reason Martin Van Drunen's vocals bugged me. But years later I eventually found a few of their CD's for dirt cheap and came to the realization that, yes, Martin Van Drunen is fucking awesome, and at least the early Asphyx material (I never really paid attention to their post-Van Drunen work) – especially their 1991 debut, "The Rack" (on Century Media) – contains some absolutely classic material. I mean, shit, one listen to "Vermin" (the first "real" song after one of those silly "eerie" intros) should hook you in, as that shit's pure fucking energy – one of the greatest death metal tunes ever written. There's just something about the band's filthy guitar tones (a great match for Van Drunen's patented snarl) and penchant for jumping from thrashy, straight ahead death metal to dingily pounding, discordant, doom-laden rhythms and melodic leads that just does the trick, you know?
I don't even know that much about the band's history, since it took me so long to wake up and start appreciating their heyday. They formed in 1987, had a bunch of lineup changes throughout the recording sessions for a handful of demos, hooked up with Van Drunen after he left Pestilence, recorded two albums and an EP with him, then continued on through the mid-90's – and I don't think any single founding member consistently appeared on every Asphyx release. Then they kinda-sorta changed their name to Soulburn in the late-90's, but by 2000 had released another Asphyx album. Now Van Drunen's back in the band with founding drummer Bob Bagchus, and, well… who knows!? Like I said, I haven't really kept up, to be honest with you. What's important, at least for the purposes of this post, is checking out a couple of these early jams:
This one's still available in reissued form, and if you're not averse to buying mp3's you can get the entire album (plus live bonus tracks) for pretty damn cheap all around, so… enjoy.