Asphyx - Bang for Buck


Gen 1 2011, 0:18

Asphyx has been releasing quite a few things over the last few year. First the comeback single, then the comeback full length, followed by this compilation, the Abomination Echoes boxed set featuring rare material and their first live album Live Death Doom. What unites all this new material is the fact that it is all kickass and thus Asphyx showed that they are still capable of being what a death metal band is all about even on releases which contain no new material as like on this release and Abomination Echoes.

So what does this compilation offer?
Well it features 2 full lengths namely the self titled and God Cries plus bonus material in the form of a couple live tracks and demo tracks. Basically this is a release in the 2 from the vault style Roadrunner did a while back but simply put quite a bit better.

2 from the vault done right.
The art on this release is really cool featuring art done by Gustave Doré. The booklet itself tells a bit about the story behind both releases featured on this release. All the song's have their own page for their lyrics. Both albums also have their own discs. Frequently when there are compilations of this kind you get a real low budget feel. This is absolutely not the case here. Depths of Eternity shows how it should be done and for a great price as well. I picked this up at their gig here in my town and it was only 10 bucks.

The remaster
This release has been slightly changed sound wise. The remaster made it slightly louder without overly compressing it.

The self titled is in the same style as the earlier albums, maybe a bit closer to Embrace the Death. The biggest change on this release is the bass heaviness of it. The Bass at times is almost the lead instrument.
The production here is really solid. Everything sounds powerful. The guitar is in the typical Asphyx style but not as loud as on the previous releases. This is compensated by the really loud bass guitar which sounds fairly awesome. The only slight problem here is that the mixing feels a bit off when it comes to the drums. I feel that some parts of the drum are a bit drowned out by the bass guitar.
The songs themselves are all really solid. Not quite up to the same level as on the earlier albums.(Including Embrace the Death) I find that the tracks all have a similar quality level with no filler. The biggest short coming by comparison to the really legendary releases are the vocals. They are well done and definitely above average but they are not as awesome as what Martin van Drunen did or what Theo Loomans did on Embrace the Death.
In the end its a typical Asphyx release just with loud bass guitar and merely great vocals.

The bonus tracks on the first disc are a nice addition but they are completely dominated by the bass guitar and the vocals. I'm not sure who does these vocals. Based on the accent I think it is Ron van Pol. It is interesting hearing him performing the vocals here compared to the originals which feature Martin van Drunen. Basically these bonus tracks are a nice extra but nothing else.
As for the bonus tracks on the 2nd disc. The demo tracks of both song's which appear on the full length as well i'd say the guitar sounds slightly more powerful. However the drum's don't sound as good and there is something else I can't really put my finger on.

God Cries might be the least popular Asphyx album and personally I think not really deservedly so. It is an good album. Maybe not as exceptional as the classic 3 releases. It still has enough components to make it a good album. One thing is for sure though, this is the least Asphyx of all Asphyx albums. This album is a bit uplifting in places which is kinda ironic compared to the fact that he supposedly killed himself 2 years after recording this album. This album also has a some groove metal here and there. However Theo who wrote all the song's on this album did try to keep some of the classic Asphyx sound intact. So the end product is a sort of happy groove metallish Asphyx album. The production here is solid. The kick drum sounds a bit triggered but that is the only issue sound wise. The mixing's only problem is the low volume of the bass guitar. Considering a part of the Asphyx strength in the past was the bass guitar it's interesting that this doesn't really end up being much of a problem. I'm not sure what to think of the vocals. They have their merits but at the same time also are a bit of annoying at times. I guess this here is a real question of taste because he Theo does give here an good performance although not as good as on Embrace the Death. The vocals are also completely different. Being much closer to the style of Martin van Drunen. The tracks here are quite consistent with again no filler. In short this is basically Asphyx experimental album which isn't really experimental just different. An enjoyable listen.

So is this compilation worth getting? If you don't own the original releases and like death metal i'd say yes after you've gotten the classic 3 Asphyx albums. There is no reason to get this if you own both originals. The bonus tracks are merely nice extras and the album does not sound drastically different. However I have to add that this is a really good package when it comes to all non sonic aspects. As for the score. Both albums would get an 7.5 on their own sound wise. The package in which its presented boosts the score to 8/10.

AsphyxPestilenceDeathMorbid AngelObituaryBehemothBring Me the HorizonRadiohead
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