Album review: Asphyx – Necroceros

Dutch deathsters Asphyx remain as sturdy as ever on 10th album, Necroceros.

The vast majority of bands with any sort of staying power rest upon their laurels, sailing through decades without ever making any kind of adjustment to their sound or style. The same cannot be said for Dutch doom-death dealers, Asphyx; dishing out riffs for the better part of 35 years, their discography spans 10 full-length albums with each one pushing to be more creative than the last. 

Necroceros is no different, taking listeners on a deadly journey through space, following the trail of an entity on an eternal course, existing only to devour planets, turning universes into meaningless voids. A concept as gnarly as that – alongside having one of the most gruesome song titles of 2021, Botox Implosion – surely deserves the music to back it up and, thankfully, they don’t disappoint. It’s pretty much business as usual for Asphyx, chunky slabs of frenzied rhythm-laden death metal collide with monolith-style grooves and crushing doom. There’s enough play-by-numbers old-school heaviness to satisfy OG fans, however, there’s the occasional hint of thrash thrown in as a curveball to keep listeners on their toes. 

Where this album genuinely shines, though, is in the band’s ability to demonstrate control over the tempo, the moments where they are able to pull the pace back without surrendering any power or severity is when they truly sound their best and is testament to solid collective songwriting. There are plenty of killer hooks and razor-sharp solos contained within Necroceros, but this record would have benefited from a final trim of the fat. There are a few songs that definitely seem as though they’ve been chucked in as filler, which is a shame, as for the most part here Asphyx have once again delivered a genuinely interesting listen.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Obituary

Necroceros is released on January 22 via Century Media.

READ THIS: The 50 greatest death metal bands right now

Posted on January 19th 2021, 12:10p.m.
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