Usually, band reunions tend to turn out to be futile attempts at resurrecting a rotting carcass that is better left dead for good… Yet at times, bands manage to return rejuvenated, reenergised and stronger than ever before! Fortunately, exactly this hits the coffin nail on its head when it comes down to premier Dutch death metal masters ASPHYX! With their highly anticipated and aptly titled new album “Death…The Brutal Way” the quartet now releases a prime example for the perseverance and indestructible impact of real death metal!
Formed back in 1987 under the morbid influence of such infernal genre forefathers as Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Slaughter and Death, ASPHYX started building their legendary reputation via several demos that spread like a plague within the tape trading and uprising underground metal community. Only one year older than their long-time label partner, Century Media, ASPHYX conquered the worldwide metal scene with such immortal death metal classics as “The Rack” (1991) and “The Last One On Earth” (1992). The band toured worldwide with fellow death metal forerunners-acts like Entombed, Benediction and Bolt Thrower to quickly establish themselves at the spearhead of the international extreme music scene. However, the mid-90’s proved to be a hard time for death metal and also ASPHYX suffered from the genre’s implosion back then. Line-up problems ensued: vocalist Martin van Drunen left the band after “The Last One On Earth” and even founding member Bob Bagchus (drums) took a time-out. While their following releases (1994’s “Asphyx”, 1995’s “God Cries”) kept the band’s high standard of musical output, in 1996 the band disbanded only to rise again in 1997 under the name SOULBURN. Their sole SOULBURN album “Feeding On Angels” (1997) featured Wannes Gubbels (Pentacle) on bass/vocals, Bob Bagchus on drums and original ASPHYX guitarist Eric Daniels. As the album sounded as close to the true ASPHYX-sound as possible it felt only natural that on “On The Wings Of Inferno” (2000) the classic moniker of ASPHYX had returned. With this massive slab of doomy, raw death metal a true and high-quality new ASPHYX record had been created, but only after some few club- and festival-shows by 2000 the band dissolved again due to the departure of Eric Daniels.
After these turbulent times, the reformation of ASPHYX was a less complicated process and started with an unbelievably successful reunion show as headlining act at 2007’s Party.San festival in Germany! Several thousand fans heartily welcomed the current line-up consisting of returning Martin van Drunen (vocals), Wannes Gubbels (bass/vocals), Paul Baayens (guitar, also in Thanatos) and Bob Bagchus (drums) and went nuts during an intense best-of set. Further successful live shows followed e.g. at the Arnhem Metal Meeting (NL), Hole In The Sky Festival (NOR), Rock Hard Festival (D) and for 2009 the band is also confirmed to play the Maryland Deathfest (US), Deathfeast (D), With Full Force Festival (D) as well as many other high-profile international shows.
After releasing a 7” on the small German underground label Iron Pegasus in 2008, which sold out quickly, now it is time to finally unleash the new full-length album “Death…The Brutal Way”. It was recorded at Sonic Assault Studio with their longtime engineer Frank Klein Douwel. Afterwards it was mixed and mastered by the none less legendary Dan Swanö (Bloodbath, Edge Of Sanity, etc.), who previously successfully worked on mixing the debut album by Hail Of Bullets, the band featuring ASPHYX vocalist Martin van Drunen and guitarist Paul Baayens. From the crushing opening track “Scorbutics”, the driving title-track, the doom monster “Asphyx II (They Died As They Marched)”, the devastating “Eisenbahnmörser” over to the monumental death metal anthem “Cape Horn”, ASPHYX have transferred their classic trademarks into the year 2009 and every dedicated fan will instantly embrace the album as the only true successor to 1992’s “The Last One On Earth”. A special limited edition version of the album will include a Bonus-DVD including the earlier mentioned, fantastic live show from Party-San festival 2007. If you have witnessed ASPHYX live in the current line-up you will have realized that the band is not simply making profit from past laurels, but has ultimately rediscovered its unquenchable thirst for delivering their own brand of doomy, violent death metal! The ripping riffs, the titanic roar of van Drunen, the pounding drumming and macabre atmosphere are 666% ASPHYX from start to finish and once you have listened to the entire new opus you will agree that the unique ASPHYX sound has been truly missed during the past years. Welcome back!