By Dr. Abner Mality

There is heavy and there is HEAVY. And then there is Asphyx. The name Asphyx is a synonym for music so crushing, so relentless and so morbid that no other band name will suffice. These super-Satanic Black Witchery bands with their muddy sound and silly imagery would be pounded to jelly by these four grim Dutchmen. And with "Deathhammer", we have an archetypal record that will forever enshrined in the hall of HEAVY.

Nothing new or revolutionary here, it's just that nobody sounds quite like these guys...that's been true from "The Rack" right up to this putrid slab of riffery. I don't know what the secret to their production is, but the bass could cause a tsunami, the drums are crisp and flattening, the guitar clear yet sickening raw and then of course we have the maddened, rabid vocals of Martin van Drunen, who also sounds like he's on the verge of causing himself grievous injury. All of these qualities are in evidence here and all the Asphyx bases get touched. Hellish jack-hammer speed-bombs with no mercy? Check. Consult "Into the Timewastes", "Reign of the Brute", and the title track. Bone-grinding doom/death that sounds like its crawled from a tomb? Check...see "Minefield", "We Doom You To Death" and the awesome magnificence of "As the Magma Mammoth Rises". How about a little bit of both? Check...access "Der Landser" and "The Flood".

There just ain't a minute of relief here. A particular favorite is "Of Days When Blades Turned Blunt", a tribute to the guillotine, which just has such a sick and heavy sound. But also, "As The Magma Mammoth Rises" might just be the greatest Asphyx ball buster ever...what riffing! Top it off with a reworked version of "Death The Brutal Way" (rawer than the original, if you can believe it) and an extra painful cover of Celtic Frost's "Os Abysmi vel Daath" and you'll be lucky if you can stand after you've experienced "Deathhammer".

Forget everybody else, 2012 will produce nothing heavier than this. What a monster!