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 Swazafix - Anthem Of Apostacy (2013) EP Review

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostSwazafix - Anthem Of Apostacy (2013) EP Review

Swazafix – Anthems Of Apostacy (2013)
Vic Records -- Running Time 32:01

An interesting one this, as it is a fairly obscure compilation of two demos/promos from 1991 and 1992 and notable for the fact that Asphyx vocalist ‘Theo Loomans’, who sadly passed away in 1998 is the singer and also provides guitar. Swazafix (named after a Carnivore track) were formed in The Netherlands when Loomans was on hiatus from Asphyx and dealt in brutal, old school death metal, with less emphasis on doom, but with much more of a thrash feel. Obviously Asphyx is a reference point (thanks to the vocals) as is Immolation but what you’ll really hear is plenty of Voi Vod (War & Pain album), Venom, Warfare, Possessed, Slayer and Celtic Frost!

I am not a huge connoisseur of death metal, especially the newer stuff, but there is something dark, bestial and very familiar about these tracks as I am a big fan of most of the bands mentioned above. Tracks 1-3 are taken from the 1992 demo and tracks 4-8 from the 1991 promo, although there is no discernible difference in quality. There are certainly blast beats, although nothing by today’s standards, but certainly not too many of them, thank goodness, with the songs containing lots of thumping mid to fast sections with some great guitar work and cracking drumming, ‘Burdened Sufferance’ being a great example. Both the demo and promo were recorded at Franky’s Recording Kitchen with ‘Berthus Westerhuis’ where the early Asphyx recordings were made and in the winter of 2012 Westerhuis gathered all the old tapes and remastered and restored them for this release and he has done a fantastic job. Many of the songs do come across sounding a little chaotic, because there is so much going on but not in a bad way, and the more you listen, the more it all begins to make sense. ‘Mass Chemicide’, ‘Insaniac (Intro)’, ‘Plaintive Parallels’ and ‘Lifelong Imprisonment’ are all fabulous slabs of retro death and it really is a pleasure to finally hear some of the stuff Loomans was coming up with just over twenty years ago.

Cover artwork has been designed by ‘Ivan Bragin’ (Hearse, Paganizer and October Tide) and the booklet contains liner notes and rare pictures from Westerhuis, ‘Bob Bagchus’ (Asphyx, Grand Supreme Blood Court) and ‘Eric Daniels’ (Grand Supreme Blood Court & ex Asphyx). Put it all together and you have a great package that fans of Asphyx and early death and thrash really should have in their collection. These songs are more than worthy of a full album release and it comes highly recommended.

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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