Thursday, 3 May 2012

ASPHYX - Last One On Earth (1992)

01  M.S. Bismarck
02  The Krusher
03  Serenade In Lead
04  Last One On Earth
05  The Incarnation Of Lust
06  Streams Of Ancient Wisdom
07  Food For The Ignorant
08  Asphyx (Forgotten War)

Last One on Earth is the second album by Asphyx. It was released in October of 1992 through Century Media Records. This is death metal at its heaviest, pushed beyond the sonic boundaries of sound. Staying true to the classic, early death metal sound, this is not avant-garde over the top technical death metal, no experimentation here folks. Only pure apocalyptic death...

Asphyx would never topple Pestilence as the best thing to ever emerge from The Netherlands (in regards to extreme metal anyway) even with the solid backing of their discography. "Last One on Earth" is the best this band has to offer you, a solid mixing of slower doom metal with a more gripping side more akin to thrash metal. Everyone is firing on all cylinders here, the songwriting is good, the musicianship is good, and the production is monstrously loud without being gutted of the punch needed to make this style really work. For me, Asphyx's best begins and ends here, though I would levy some praise to later albums, particularly the latest release 'Deathhammer'.

This album's forte, is its guitar and bass tone. If ever you were looking for an album with an authoritative "crunch" of distortion, this is that album. There are not many leads to speak of, save one near the end of the title track that very well may have inspired the ethereal leads of Edge Of Sanity's 'Crimson'. But that's about as unconventional as this album gets. The vocals are another highlight too. If there’s one common fault in death metal, it’s that the vocals often seem to be slightly lifeless and monotonous. However, Martin Van Drunen delivers a fantastic vocal performance on this album, mainly employing a style halfway between growling and shrieking. They add to the doom-and-gloom vibe that the album creates, and he certainly packs a lot of emotion into them. Quite simply, Last One On Earth is death-doom done right. Stand-out's are; "M.S. Bismarck", "Last One On Earth" and "Food For The Ignorant".

*Martin van Drunen recorded the vocals alone in the studio without realizing he was already fired from the band. The vocals were intended to be recorded by Ron van Pol, however the other members of Asphyx thought the vocal tracks were fine with Martin singing, so they were kept and the lyrics to be sang by van Pol were yet to be written, so van Drunen's lyrics were kept as well.

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