OK, I'll admit, Asphyx is new to me. I have been around the music industry a long time, but just a relatively recent death metal fan. I had to give this disc a few spins before I began to appreciate the subtle differences in songs, they all kind of blended together the first few listens. I sat down with my headphones and concentrated. This is a no frills, simple, groove oriented sample of Dutch doom/death/thrash metal and the production is superb.
Martin Van Drunen's haunting, tortured voice does not fail to let you forget, they are a band to be reckoned with. This album is slower than most of the latest entries in this category and it fits them just fine.
The cd has its share of neck breakers like "Into the Timewastes" and the title song, "Deathhammer", which starts fast, tried and true-with Van Drunen declaring in the beginning that "This is true death metal, you bastards!"; "The Flood" and "Vespa Crabo" are the other whiplash induced highlights. My personal favorites, however; are the slower building, longer songs. "Minefield" and "We Doom You to Death" are masterpieces! The slower, doom, Sabbath laden riffs are the epitome of metal...I can't get enough! Again, Van Drunen's angst-ridden vocals on these songs are just plain kick ass.
"As the Magma Mammoth Rises" is the final song on the disc before the bonus tracks of the 7" version of "Death The Brutal Way" and a cover of Celtic Frost's "Os Abysmi Vel Daath" and I have to say, it's yet another highlight to the album! I was brought back to a time of my younger years when Celtic Frost was new to me; I could also hear influences from Venom, Death and Possessed from that same time period.
Honestly, I cannot pigeon hole this cd-which suits me (and Asphyx) just fine! Buy it, give it a few listens and you will appreciate this very unique and talented band!