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Since Asphyx reformed nine years ago the Dutch doom/deathsters have released two albums of the highest of standards. Paul Baayens, the primary creative force of the current incarnation of Asphyx, has worthily carried the Asphyx legacy on his shoulders. Naturally voices have spoken out advocating the contrary given that Paul Baayens' riffs are not carbon copies of the ditto of Eric Daniels.
To be fair though, the numerous line-ups bearing the Asphyx moniker over the years have hardly stuck to a single narrow formula, but rather operated within a relatively open framework enabling the strength of the current composer(s) to become an integral part of the sound.
The third album of the current Asphyx session, 'Incoming Death', firmly continues down the path set by the first two albums of what could now be called the "death trilogy" (with 'Death The Brutal Way' and 'Deathhammer' being the first two parts). Fast and furious songs are mixed with epic doomy pieces neatly linked by classic Asphyx mid-tempo songs.
The catchy riffs and guitar lines, along with the unmistakable vocals of Martin van Drunen, are once again the focal points of the music. Those who worried the Asphyx soul would be lost by the departure of founding member Bob Bagchus can give a sigh of relief, Stefan Hüskens' drumming suits the band just perfect.
I was honestly surprised to find the closing (?) act in the "death album series" to be equally great as its predecessors. I honestly actively sought to find a single filler song, any part that did not quite measure up to the high standards of 'Death The Brutal Way' and 'Deathhammer'. All those efforts were in vain. Asphyx has found a working formula that evolves sparsely, yet still manages to stay fresh and inspiring.
Those who clutches their first pressing vinyl copy of 'The Rack' muttering about the horrors of change will likely keep the frown on their faces. Those, like yours truly, who holds this album's two predecessors in the highest of regards are up for yet another treat. 'Incoming Death' is a display of force from a band that currently seems unable to do anything wrong!