Asphyx
Necroceros


3.5
great

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
January 24th, 2021 | 44 replies


Release Date: 01/22/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stubbornly faithful to the past

Although albums like The Rack or Last One on Earth are now considered death metal classics, I never belonged to Asphyx’s fanbase back in the days. Both their Bolt Thrower-esque raw style and Martin van Drunen's vocals, though distinct, never really thrilled me. It might have been my fault, I know, but things are as they are. I can't say that my love for Martin's singing has grown over time, but I have to admit that it no longer bothers me as before, on the contrary, I started to get used to his visceral signature. Despite never having plunged deeply into Asphyx's discography, I kept peeking what they were doing, even during the second half of the nineties when they no longer had Martin in the lineup. Honestly, I never got overly excited by what I was listening to, but it didn't cause me any hives either. In spite of its predictability, Asphyx delivers a product that arouses some interest, if only because of its orthodoxy.

As expected, Necroceros remains consistent with the formula presented over the decades, now with a greater focus on Accept-ish riffs already explored previously in tracks such as 'Death: The Only Immortal'. I've always been enthusiastic about this guitar approach, reminiscent of the German metal bands of the eighties. 'Knights Templar Stand' and 'Yield or Die' both present engaging riff packages that fall directly into this category. Paul Baayens' rhythmic delivery is thus one of the album's highlights and its main structural axis. Bolt Thrower-ish songs like 'Molten Black Earth' and 'The Nameless' Elite' are also among the most interesting moments due to their infectious mid-paced tempos that emerge from the band's comfort zone. This increased focus on slow and mid-paced tempos thus mirrors Necroceros' DNA.

The album does not offer sharp contrasts, in fact, its monochromatic palette is all too evident, yet it is not a stagnant delivery. Songs like the blasting 'Botox Implosion' or the thrilling opener 'The Sole Cure Is Death' do a good job of counterbalancing Asphyx’s stylistic stiffness. The balance between Black Sabbath-esque and Metallica-ish approaches in 'Three Years of Famine' also illustrates the subtle contrasting nuances that peek every now and then. And even though less inspired songs like 'In Blazing Oceans' may carry a certain monotony, Paul Baayens' riffs keep driving us forward. The fact that Asphyx have managed to keep a stable lineup since 2016 also lends Necroceros greater solidity, and although Martin van Drunen's vocals no longer display the same stamina it certainly remains the band's most distinctive trademark and the cement that unites the collective.

Those looking for freshness and innovation will not find anything really exciting here, although whoever got lost around these parts is certainly not very much familiar with either the genre or the band. It is an undeniable fact that Necroceros adds nothing new to death metal, but it is also true that it remains cohesive and entertaining, if you take it for what it is: an orthodoxy that stubbornly remains faithful to itself.



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user ratings (73)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2021


15667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As expected, the album doesn't bring anything new, but it certainly has good jams.

Necroceros is available on all streaming services

Digging: Evergrey - Escape of the Phoenix

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2021


13560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Easy subscribed, 2021 death metal has a pretty decent head start.

Digging: Stargazer (AUS) - Psychic Secretions

butt.
January 24th 2021


8514 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, good album. Avg is already too low, should be 3.5-3.6

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2021


13560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there. .1 bump

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2021


9051 Comments


Avg is already too low, should be 3.5-3.6 [2]

Was listening to this earlier today, the groove and sound of this record is tremendous.

Good review.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2021


15667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys.

Yeah, 2021 has got off to a good start, but the best is yet to come.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2021


23704 Comments


Have this on my list for this week. Nicely done man.

Digging: Lost Horizons - In Quiet Moments

butt.
January 25th 2021


8514 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"but the best is yet to come"

anything in particular you're waiting for?

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2021


13560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Got some toes crossed for some possibilities

AxeToFall93
January 25th 2021


279 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The production is horrible, been a long time since Van Drunen dropped something interesting for me. But hey, glad that other people dig it, it's a great band afterall.

DDDeftoneDDD
January 25th 2021


15901 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hi there Notrap. I've tried these guys before, never quite made it on me. Lets give another shot!

Digging: Leon III - Antlers in Velvet

parksungjoon
January 25th 2021


28226 Comments


the first two are easily their best tbh

Digging: The Sisters of Mercy - Temple of Love / Heartland

Pikazilla
January 25th 2021


15060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not really tbh

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2021


15667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"anything in particular you're waiting for?"

Wishful thinking ;) nevertheless, the new Suffering Hour is among the best upcoming releases. I'm also looking forward to the new Soen.



Cheers D,

If I remember right, this kind of orthodox DM isn't your cup of tea, but give it a spin mate. It has a couple of great jams & riffs.

AxeToFall93
January 25th 2021


279 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"not really tbh"



Oh, they are their best albums by far.



Everything since their reunion is kinda boring. Like every release Van Drunen is evolved in the last 10 years.

sonictheplumber
January 26th 2021


12329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

strangely i actually dig this more than the other recent ones



but like all the recent asphyx stuff its too long and the production is, well, what you'd expect from some dudes in their mid-50s. but hey pretty solid

Digging: Defiled - Defeat of Sanity

Pikazilla
January 26th 2021


15060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like deathhammer a lot

sonictheplumber
January 26th 2021


12329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

honestly i enjoy their entire discog, especially from 90 to 2000. although there's one album i havent heard but i cant remember the name

sonictheplumber
January 26th 2021


12329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

drunen is still the man

Pikazilla
January 26th 2021


15060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like all their post-reunion stuff



it does its job well enough



nothing groundbreaking, but i feel that was never the case with these guys anyways



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