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Asphyx - Crush the Cenotaph
Review: This short release shows us Asphyx in Slayer emulation mode, including a nascent track from the album that followed it. While it shows insight into the infamously inscrutable "Asphyx method" of gluing riffs together into an amalgamated cryptogram bigger than the sum of its parts, it also represents an evolutionary detour in style.
Despite its short duration this EP remains a favorite because the voice used is so familiar and unconscious that Asphyx are able to express themselves clearly without getting sidetracked by the power of their style, adapting the patterns of Slayer songwriting and even its rhythms, where the bulk of their work veers more toward the Metallica/Exodus style of percussive muted power chords and recursive discrete rhythms, not phrasal ones as Slayer used.
The version of "The Krusher" on this disc lifts a riff directly from Reign in Blood; the opening moments of the title track sound like they came straight off Show No Mercy; the ambitious "Rites of Shades" demonstrates what a cross between classic Slayer and Destruction might sound like. Although this EP varies the Asphyx formula, it also emphasizes it by showing parallel ideas from which it derives much of its compositional language.