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Asphyx - Last One on Earth (1992) - 93%

Unsilent_Storms, October 6th, 2005

“Last One on Earth” is a solid album of death-doom metal. On vocals, legendary Martin Van Drunen delivers his trademark low deep growl, with the occasional high-pitched scream. Asphyx music weaves in and out between slow dense rhythms, heavy as anything, and then braking into dense bursts of pure death metal.

Released in 1992, “Last One on Earth” would be the third and last time Martin Van Drunen recorded with Asphyx, the first of course being 1991’s “The Rack” and the 1992 ep "Crush The Cenotaph". Even though both albums sound very similar, this album has a more violent and aggressive sound in most of its songs. Asphyx music is not intricate and fancy, no 100 mile per hour double drum blasts, no elaborate guitar solos or sophisticated bass patterns. Asphyx is the true definition of “old school death metal”. The music is simple, yet the riffs and over all rhythms all come together to form an evil and raw sound.

The first four tracks of the album “M.S. Bismarck”, “The Krusher”, “Serenade in Lead” and “Last One on Earth” follow the formula of starting with a slow melody, introduce Martins growl with a scream and then step up the tempo until it becomes death metal, Van Drunens voice terrifying the listener the whole time.

Track number 6, “Streams of Ancient Wisdom” is a bonus for the true Asphyx fanatic. This song was first released with the mystical Theo Loomans on vocals in 1989 in a single called “Mutilating Process”, this track can also be heard with Theo on vocals in the “Embrace the Death” album. Here we get to hear Van Drunen have a crack at it, and even though the brutality of the original song would be hard to recreate by any vocalist, Martin pulls it off. I am not sure if the exact same lyrics are used in both versions, it is well known that Martin refused to sing many of Theo’s original lyrics, calling them very obscure and mysterious.

The album closes with two brutal death metal tracks, “Food for the Ignorant” and “Asphyx (Forgotten War)” they are the heaviest tracks in the album and really finish the album of brilliantly. This album is a must for every single death metal fan, the bands ability to churn out riff after riff of head banging proportions really amazes me and will make you yearn for the death metal of the early 90’s!