(Album Review) “Necroceros” by ASPHYX

Dutch death doom outfit Asphyx have reached a milestone with ‘Necroceros’ being their tenth studio album! If you’re into heavily distorted guitars, gutteral vocals and powerful rhythms, this is definitely an album you should check out.

The opener to the album, ‘The Sole Cure is Death’, provides a strong introduction. The heaviness is there from the off – there’s no easing you in gently. The guitars have a really good distorted tone that fills out the space, without over powering the vocals. ‘Molten Black Earth’ delivers a well balanced sound of death aspects and the darker, doom moods. The bridge with the oriental inspired lead adds in something extra which helps to enhance the overall sound of the track. The sections of slower pace rhythms are impactful as they contrast the intensity of faster sections. It’s good to see each track having its own personality too. With such a distinctive sound, the composition needs that special something to make each song stand out on the album. ‘Mount Skull’ has a unique rhythm which works really well as the focus for the track, along with various developments taking place as it progresses. ‘Knights Templar Stand’ has a dynamic motif seeing interplaying parts from the percussion and guitars. At times the percussion feels a little lost so it’s good to see more of a focus being placed on it in this track.

The album just keeps giving as you move through the track list. ‘Three Years of Famine’, the longest track on the album, sees some intricate lead melody developments on the guitars. The layered harmonies add to the texture of the music. ‘The Nameless Elite’ brings ludicrously fast paced shredding and barrels of energy. It’s non-stop from start to finish; it really feels like an adrenaline rush. ‘Yield or Die’ brings yet another energetic rhythm explored and developed throughout the track. The title track concludes the album with a wonderfully theatrical sound. The dramatic build up powerful percussion, vocals and eerie guitars works so well. This is my favourite track on the album. The range of experimentation and musical development in this track is fantastic, in many ways it would have been nice to see more of this across the album.

It’s not hard to see why Asphyx are still so popular. The long-spanning career has seen dramatic changes in line-up but the quality hasn’t faltered. They’ve managed to retain their essence despite these changes. ‘Necroceros’ really shows off their strengths as an ensemble and is a great release to mark such a significant point in their career.

Track listing:

   The Sole Cure Is Death 4:05
   Molten Black Earth 5:07
   Mount Skull 6:03
   Knights Templar Stand 3:35
   Three Years of Famine 7:38
   Botox Implosion 3:16
   In Blazing Oceans 5:06
   The Nameless Elite 3:57
   Yield or Die 4:29
   Necroceros 7:06

Author: Holly Royle

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