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Sunday Old School: Asphyx

The Netherlands has always had a soft spot for hard music. The country has played host to many metal festivals over the years, most notably the Eindhoven Metal Meeting, where many of metal's most beloved names have performed and several have recorded live albums. Their contribution to the music itself has also been quite noteworthy, especially in the death metal field. Today we'll be looking at another of their more notable bands, Overijssel's, Asphyx.

Asphyx was formed in 1987 by drummer Bob Bagchus and guitarist Tonny Brookhuis, who soon recruited a second guitar player named Eric Daniels and singing bassist Chuck Colli. This lineup lasted for two years but only recorded two demos, "Carnage Remains" and "Enter the Domain" before replacing Colli with Theo Loomans for the "Crush the Cenotaph" demo, which itself was the last recording before Brookhuis quit the group. Left as a trio, they recorded an album entitled, "Embrace the Death," though due to label problems, it remains unreleased to this day.

A surprising helping hand came in 1990 when Pestilence frontman Martin van Drunen quit his outfit and joined Asphyx, which undoubtedly played a role in Century Media offering the group a record deal. The band then released their debut album, "The Rack" in April 1991 and promoted it by heading out on tour with Swedish death metal favourites, Entombed before embarking on another run with two of Britain's best death metal groups, Bolt Thrower and Benediction. Bizarrely, when the band returned to the studio, van Drunen recorded his vocals alone, not realising he had been sacked. The intention was for his successor, Ron van der Pol to perform on the record, however since he had not written all the lyrics yet, Asphyx decided to release their sophomore effort, "Last One on Earth" with van Drunen's vocals kept.

"Last One on Earth" also marked the last Aspyx album to be recorded with Bob Bagchus, who quit the band and was replaced by Sander van Hoof. This new incarnation of the group recorded a new, self-titled album, which was released in 1994 to a mostly positive response, though this did not prevent the band from calling it a day that same year. It wasn't long however, before Loomans and Bagchus brought Asphyx back to life in 1995, recording a demo before releasing a fourth album, "God Cries" the following year. Asphyx was once again disbanded Theo Loomans was killed when a train hit his car, an incident which most people believe to be suicide.

Bagchus then reunited with Eric Daniels for a new project named Soulburn, who recorded an album, "Feeding on Angels" before the two members decided to change their moniker and become a new version of Asphyx. Once again, the band would record and release one more album, "On the Wings of Inferno" in 1999 before decided to call it quits again.

In 2007, Asphyx came back once more, this time with Martin van Drunen returning on vocals and Bagchus on drums, along with new members Wannes Gubbels on bass and guitarist Paul Baayens. Originally, they did not intend to record any new music and focus only on live performances, but after recording a new song entitled, "Death... the Brutal Way" and a cover of the Celtic Frost song, "Os Abysmi Vel Daath," they decided to continue writing and released a studio album by the same name of their new song, "Death... the Brutal Way," to a very positive response.

The reception led the band to believe they'd made the right decision and two years later recorded another album, "Deathhammer," which was released in early 2012, again to much praise from critics and fans alike. This would become their last album featuring Bob Bagchus, as he quit in 2014 and was replaced by Stefan Hüskes, who made his recording debut with the band on their new album, "Incoming Death," which was released on September 30th of this year. So far, the allbum has continued to garner praise for the group, whose latest (and longest lasting) reformation has been a great success so far and who have written a place for themselves in the death metal history books as one of the most impressive to emerge from Europe.

Asphyx - "The Rack"

Asphyx - "The Krusher"

Asphyx - "Prelude of the Unhonoured Funeral"

Asphyx - "My Beloved Enemy"

Asphyx - "Embrace the Death"

Asphyx - "On the Wings of Inferno"

Asphyx - "Death... the Brutal Way"

Asphyx - "Forerunners of the Apocalypse"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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2 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Asphyx"

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Anonymous Reader
1. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

Their new album "Incoming Death" is actually great and so is this band.

# Oct 9, 2016 @ 6:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. A writes:

New album has bad sound production

# Oct 10, 2016 @ 12:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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