The Metal Wanderlust Album of the Month, January 2021: Necroceros – Asphyx


Asphyx have been around as long as there has been Death Metal. Their demos were impressive, but albums like “The Rack” (1991) and “Last One on Earth” (1992) sure left a mark in the early scene. What really makes Asphyx exceptional though, is the fact that they became relevant again, for the second time and second wave of fans with the release of their “Death… The Brutal Way” album in 2009. Old school Death Metal was coming back at the time, having a revival, and there the Dutchmen were once again, at the very front of it. After being regulars on all the major Death Metal festivals of the past decade and releasing two more albums, they are on more or less everybody’s lips again with their brand new opus on decay called “Necroceros.” 

Here’s what some of the TMW staff had to say about it:

PCO: “Was talking with my friend (yes, I think I have one!) about what kind of hopes he has for 2021. His exact words were: “Let the new Asphyx album be at least as good as “Deathhammer” was!”. I think the Metal Gods heard his wishes, as this album is by all means impressive! It has Doomy Death, old school mayhem and a bit of Motörhead, all in perfect balance.” 

Hayduke X: “Raging chaos. Grinding mayhem. Percussive destruction. Circle pit inducing madness. Asphyx once again provide the kind of old school sound that has middle aged metalheads saying, “See…old school is best!”. This is the kind of Death Metal that traces its roots all the way back to DIY Punk Rock, and they wear that badge proudly. I could say more, but I’ll just tell you to listen. I’m going to go run around my living room flailing my arms wildly.” 

VUK: “An absolute monster of an album. Highly destructive. It’s like a Death Metal Godzilla… Breathing fire on its enemies and crushing everything in its path. In the wake of such destruction, the only thing left alive is a thin but glorious veil of Doom. Listen to “Mount Skull”. That is all.” 

The Great Mack: “What can one say about such a release? Plenty. It’s the bees knees, the goats balls, bigger than Santa’s sack, and probably your mother. Van Drunen and co put on a display of absolute crushing power on this one, and much like Graceless last year, have pretty much dropped what is most likely to be the Death Metal album of THIS one. It would have been quite the competition if this was let out of the cage the year gone by, what with Benediction also throwing their hat into the ring after a long absence, and Incantation dropping “Sect of Vile Divinities,” but this ladies and germs is a new year, and Asphyx have thrown down a massive gauntlet made of the finest “Fuck You”.

Utter magnificence, and in the words of my mate VUK : “Mount Skull”. That IS all, but I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that the entire package is just sheer madness. So much brilliance on offer here, “In Blazing Oceans” – absolute class. Get on it if you haven’t already!”

PCO: “It is quite fair to call Martin Van Drunen as one of the most distinctive voices in Death Metal. One can tell who is singing right away. There are not too many vocalists like that in the modern day scene… Another notable thing about “Necroceros” is the producer Sebastien “Seeb” Levermann of Orden Ogan fame. While working with him Asphyx have broken the long chain of Dan Swanö productions and for a more distinctive result. Even though Dan Swanö can create an impressive Death Metal sound even whilst asleep most likely, the production of Levermann is actually a lot more dynamic, less compressed sounding and brings a lot of that ‘punk’ touch to the album that the previous ones might have been missing.” 

Jonah M: “Absolutely mind-blowing from beginning to end! Not a single moment that wasn’t amazing. It manages to blend Death Metal with a punk-ish feel that grabs you by the nuts and punches you in the face. It’s a 50-minute assault on the senses and I mean that in the best way possible. And like The Great Mack and VUK, I have to say listen to “Mount Skull”. Easily the most gut-busting, face-melting song on the album and a perfect example of the album’s brilliance.” 
Yeah, as this conversation proves – Asphyx are still as all-important to Death Metal scene as they were in the beginning of it. Not too many bands around who can claim to be in the same respectable position. In Asphyx’s case, it is largely due the originality. They never went running for trends. Instead they just soldiered on with the type of music they have always been doing, until bands started to be compared to them instead. They became archetypal for the sound, so to speak. Grandfathers of Doom Death and soon to be the biggest band in the Death Metal at the moment.

Asphyx have dropped one of the most important Death Metal albums for 2021, quite in the beginning of the year too. If you want to know what your mates are talking about, check “Necroceros” out. As The Great Mack pointed out, it’s the bee’s knees, the goats balls, bigger than Santa’s sack, and probably your mother.”

Yield, or Die – the choice is yours.

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