Monday, July 4, 2011

Asphagor - Havoc (2010)

Providing a newer sound of black metal music is the underground band from Angerberg, Austria known as Asphagor. They have released their new album in 2010, entitled "Havoc." The quality in the recordings are pretty decent and not purposely horrible like a lot of other black metal bands. The album is well mixed and is easy to hear all the little details without having to turn up any specific treble or bass frequencies.

Track one, "Agony," slowly fades in with quiet, eerie strings with wind sound effect flowing through the background giving off a dark vibe. Perhaps that stretched this intro a little too long, however. About a minute and a half into the song enter one of the most wretched and disturbing growls I have ever heard. The evilness echo's through the air producing haunting tones. This is accompanied by rapid double bass pedals mixed with detailed snare and cymbal action. Deafening guitar riffs are hit over and over, surrounding you with pure darkness. As the verses kick in, wicked black metal screaming comes blaring in. The song has great structure as it changes up the tempo frequently from the fast, energetic snares, to the slower fist pumping kicks. Be prepared for a rude awakening when blasting this opening track.

The band loves using exploding toms and snares in the beginning of a lot of their songs. You'll hear this in "Absurd In Death" and "Mountainthrone." It's definitely a great way to build up the track and get the listener pumped. The verses are full of vicious screaming accompanied by tons of thick bass lines and fast distorted guitar riffs. Heavy chugging in certain parts really help fill in any gaps between verses and even give a powerful background during them. They also do a lot of layering with separate guitars playing similar parts only in different octaves giving a wide range of sound to the mix.

If you love these wicked vocals and cannot get enough, you should definitely check out "The Dead Old Tree" and "Soul Of Winter." The verses contain such evil sounding screams and growls. The delivery of the vocals are on point every time and are performed with such energy in every lyric. Also, the drum fills are so explosive and mind blowing. They will definitely keep your head bobbing through every track.

The final song on the album is called "A New God." It immediately opens up with fast pace guitar action and insane double bass drumming. The loudness of the smashing cymbals will make you flinch every time. The bridge slows the tempo down a little giving you a chance to catch your breathe but picks up again shortly after with more violent vocals and electrifying guitars. This is one of those songs that gives you that "I want more" feeling as it fades to the end. So get ready to play the album again!

For being in such an earlier stage of their career, Asphagor has really shown their true talent and potential with "Havoc." Not too many black metal bands can pull off such a strong album right off the start. Impressive drumming and overwhelming vocals took charge and really pounded you to the ground. Let's hope they keep things up. Definitely looking forward to more music from these guys.


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