Celebrating the death and yet afterlife inertia of death metal, foundational Dutch pummeling vitriolic death metal band Asphyx plans to re-issue its demos and early material on a 3-LP set called Abomination Echoes due out on Napalm Records on June 18, 2021.2 Comments
Continuing from part 1, here we analyze a different set of both good and bad vocalists who either achieved notoriety through a set of gimmicks or by being particularly gifted in a vocal style that has come to define Metal in the public eye. Unlike other genres of music, no universally acknowledged methodology has been created nor do formal teaching centers exist for growls. Yet in a time where such vocalizations have drawn more people than anyone could have expected it is necessary to seek those who do it well and add a layer of depth to the music, and to denigrate those who make a mockery or seek monetary gain from what was the most inaccessible form of singing conceived by man.
On 7th April, another edition of a long standing Polish festival Metalmania took place. One day, two stages, twenty four bands. It was the second one organized after a recent reactivation. The original Metalmania was an early big metal event in that part of the Europe – quite a feat given Polish Communist and post-Communist realities. Then, due to various reasons, the festival was gradually losing its relevance, dwindling and finally went into hiatus for 8 years. There is no sense, however, to cling to its bygone local importance or whatever glorious past. So how does it look now?
While too much reliance on more mainstream gothic and heavy contributed to a collapse of previous incarnation of the festival, and now it was death and black oriented, the music on the big scene is rather consistently aimed at straight metal through all of its generations and styles, ending with bands like Dead Congregation or Blaze of Perdition and with some of the more modern sounds on a small scene. On a downside, the fest resurfacing mainly as a stage for classic bands may be reflecting the actual state of metal, indicating that the newer bands are unable to fill the void with something equally strong to their predecessors.
The festival was obviously rough around the edges (and surprisingly violent – I almost got caught into two different fights just from where I was standing) and the sound was uneven and average overall. It was organized better than in the past, but still perceptibly within Polish standards, that is crudely and with lack of imagination or simply negligence in some areas (although Martin van Drunen said on stage that the organization was great!). Perhaps a very fortunate by-product of these characteristics, which may contribute to the positive reception of this festival, is how – I dare to say – conservative it is, both in terms of lineup and general spirit. With Napalm Death and (I suppose) liberal speed metallers on one side and sort of crypto-nazis on the other, who always find a way to show up in some form, the fest also covered broadest ideological spectrum that is possible for a mainstream event.
As of 2018 this festival is yet to experience types of modern degeneracy, often coming from outside, which can be seen on festivals elsewhere. There were some obligatory side attractions, like exhibition of works of Christophe Szpajdel (who actually speaks Polish fluently), meet-up with the bands and lots of merch, but nothing delving too much into a fan idiocy or really not related to metal. Very few freaks, zero exotic people, no random participants, just fairly traditional metalheads, mostly in the 90s style, as it should be, world without end. However, those spoiled by abundance of propositions and by big festivals in Germany or Czech Republic will probably miss out on some of these modest qualities.
And then there’s the surreal, sci-fi sight at the arrival – a monumental, Communistic “The Saucer” occupied by nothing but a tribe of long haired, black clad drunks…18 Comments
Dutch death/doom metal legends Asphyx are playing a special thirtieth anniversary show in Essen, Germany that promises former members, exclusive merchandise, and an extra long set. Opening are Pentacle and Soulburn. Tickets are available here.No Comments
Asphyx are touring the west coast for a bit prior to their appearance at the social justice warrior Maryland Deathfest. Yes, yet another west coast tour posted about today on Death Metal Underground. Hopefully Asphyx won’t play too much of their new deathpunk garbage.No Comments
Asphyx debuted the title track of their incoming Incoming Death on Youtube today and it at least its better than the awful Obituary “song” that came out yesterday. The album comes out on September 30th on Century Media Records which even though they put out a lot of Hot Topic crap, take less of a hacksaw to reissues and classic bands than the toilet scrubbers at Relapse or the “commodify everything retro with EZdrummer” philosophy of Nuclear Blast.18 Comments