Asphyx – Incoming Death (Century Media)

Genre: Death Metal

It’s been four years since the pulverising Deathhammer was released an album that showed Asphyx’s post 07’ reboot was no flash in the pan. And although that record was always going to be tough to follow, Incoming Death demonstrates that the quartet are still setting their standards high.

The Netherlands-based vets, in one incarnation or another, have been unleashing hell for three decades… and they know all about forging titanic death metal songs from basic ingredients; tracks with drama, power and unbridled intensity. And that’s true whether they’re taking the tempo down and dredging up deep melancholy – as you’ll find on The Grand Denial or Subterra Incognita – or firing up the engines and going straight for the jugular – the title track for instance, or opener Candiru.

Plus, in Martin van Drunen, they have one of death metal’s most potent growls at their disposal: after all these years, it’s still thrilling to here the legendary frontman deliver his scorched earth vocals over the likes of Division Brandenburg.

Wildland Fire is the pick of the bunch here, slaughtering all before it with the help of Paul Baayens’ incendiary riffing and some battle charge rhythms, but there’s plenty of meaty material for fans to feast on throughout.

Granted, this opus is no instant classic, no leap forward from Deathhammer, or even 2009’s Death… The Brutal Way, but it’s a worthy addition to Asphyx’s weighty catalogue – and reinforces this band’s place among extreme metal’s masters.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Choke-hold