Friday, May 3, 2013

Swazafix - Anthems of Apostasy (2013)

I've gotta say, I was pretty blown away to see that Swazafix got the "remaster" treatment as I can honestly say these guys were among the more obscure bands to have momentarily reared their ugly cabezas within the seemingly endless death metal pantheon.

Swazafix was the band that bassist/vocalist Theo Loomans started up after leaving Asphyx. Swazafix, in many ways, reminds me of what Asphyx would sound like were they to speed up the tempo and incorporate more bizarro rhythmic fluctuations into the equation. There is a peculiar vibe shared among the two bands, meaning, that if I had heard these guys without already knowing who they were, I may have mistaken them for Asphyx, vice versa, with tempo being the obvious difference between the two.

The quality here for the re-release is damn good and does the material justice. Personally, I've always preferred Swazafix over Asphyx as there has always been something rather "incompete" and second rate sounding about the latter band. Swazafix was leagues ahead of their countrymen, in terms of songwriting and execution. The material here is angrier and even perhaps "gloomier" despite the faster riffing. How Asphyx has managed to stay relevant throughout the years is beyond me as they've never really seemed to graduate from the trappings of a band that's in the midst of fumbling about during their demo stage.

If you are a fan of Asphyx, Dutch death metal or just plain old skull death metal, do yourself a favor and pick this up! It is a damning testimony of one of the mightiest death metal bands that just didn't quite make it beyond the starting gate.

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