1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2012
Join this bunch of unsung heroes of dutch metal, that is dutch old school-style death metal, which harks back to a golden-age gone by in 1993. Asphyx I believe are a slightly overlooked band in similar fashion to that of long time metallers Pestillence. This album however "The rack" is in just a couple of words, a full-on murderous assault of primage and pure old school death. Back then there was a huge explosion of bands coming forth from up north in cold country playing buzz-saw, but this uprising however is essentially a slightly different mixture of heavily downtuned and toned guitar onslaughts with flashes of brief but still crushingly heavy melodic dreamscapes. Wether or not a song is gearing up for a face-melting riff or chugging it's away along, the brutal results seemingly hammer the message home in perfect order as each track whizzes by. Occasionally, some doom-age atmospheric themes or interludes provides a little bit of texture and welcome variety to the fiery and noisy affair which is for the most part balanced and complimentary.
An interlude begins this album before things really kick off with Vermin and it's deadly guitar riffs which make it very clear from the word go that things are going to continue and stay heavy throughout. Another interlude haunter is "The quest for absurdity" which I enjoyed. "Ode to a nameless grave" is a slow peddler but a very enjoyable one. "Evocation" is a sludgy thick grinder which belts at your ears. Where-as "Wasteland of terror" is a fast enterprise and strongly exhibits classic hallmarks. The others needless to say keep the side up with no slackers. Contrary however to the short 9 track original release, the song count has evidently been beefed up to around 20 with newer editions of which are mostly live renditions of all that came before it, but since this album is so good you'll be listening to those live songs again if only for just another brutal listening experience without having to re-start your CD from the beginning.
As a comparison I would say Asphyx on "the rack" project very similar similarities to Obituary in their classic prime, (particularly the vocalist.) However as far as heavy tone is concerned I think the mastery displayed with this release is legendary and crafted in such a magnificent way that it easily rivals their contemporaries were able to do. Including that of the Stockholm syndrome from key Scandinavian outfits such as Dismember, Grave and Entombed from Sweden. From the European continent however, Asphyx remain one of my most favorite extreme metal acts and despite the tentative but never-the-less confident wait for their imminent next album due out, i think it's about time this album was hailed as much as the other universally regarded classics in the genre. The rack is quite simply a classic and you should own the CD for yourself to see why it is one.
on 20 April 2015
My 1st try at Asphyx, after disappointing Pestilence reformation. First two tracks made me hopeful, 2nd reminds of Pestilence's Consuming Impulse but the album as a whole has too much noisy rhythm work that diminishes upon the lead and solo potential. The rough live bonus tracks are nice compensation when in the mood for more, not less noise. Hopefully it's not their best stuff.