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Asphyx – “Forerunners of the Apocalypse” (Video)

ASPHYX1

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The Netherlands’ death metal pioneers Asphyx have been around for nearly thirty years, and are preparing to release their ninth album Incoming Death. Today they released a music video for “Forerunners of the Apocalypse”, in preparation for that record. It’s hardly a unique music video – just Asphyx plating in a warehouse – nor is it the most unique song. “Forerunners of the Apocalypse” is Martin Van Drunen and crew pitching right down the middle, but they’re so good at it how could anyone complain?

In last month’s Editors Choice I praised the first single and title track of Incoming Death, but hadn’t heard the full album yet. Having now heard it, I’m thinking it’s the best record they’ve produced since the band reformed in 2007, in part because they don’t try to vary the formula much. Some songs are faster, like “Incoming Death” and some are slower like the astounding eight-minute epic that closes the album out, “Death is the Only Immortal”. In either gear, though, the band focus on articulating each individual part of the song as best they can. The structures draw influence from punk, as much great death metal does, but the execution is perfectionistic.

That perfectionism is on display in “Forerunners of the Apocalypse”. Yeah, it’s pretty much a groovy death metal song, but the riffs crunch in the right places and Van Drunen howls where it’s called for and backs off in-between, something he ought to have done more on Deathhammer – maybe his stint on Hail of Bullets taught the old dog a few new tricks.

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