Deathhammer (Century Media)
By Mike Delano
Boiling down a work of art to facts and figures is crass, but the new album from Dutch old school death metallers Asphyx is just too perfectly neat and tidy not to admire. Deathhammer has a nice, compact 10-song length – no messy odd numbers or intros/outros. The cover art is brutally direct: No abstract head-scratcher here, just demons, blood, and despair. And the music is similarly laser-focused and effective, delivering beefy, dirty death metal with force and few surprises (’cause nobody wants any). “Into The Timewastes” is a full-on headbanger, the title track is vintage pit-fodder, and the longer, down-tempo tracks like the churning “Minefield” and the towering “As The Magma Mammoth Rises” give the album necessary texture. The highlight is the vicious “We Doom You To Death,” which finds vocalist Martin Van Drunen’s already gnarly growls coming completely unhinged in glorious fashion. Long live death doom.
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