Originating as a metallic crust punk band, French aggressors Acephalix gradually took their style in a more death metal oriented direction which, on Deathless Master - their sophomore full-length release – has resulted in a sound that is not unlike the mighty Stockholm-sound of the 1990s Swedish death metal scene.
Acephalix primarily make use of primitive, but brutal, death metal riffage combined with crust punk and hardcore riffage, accompanied by a drumming style that features both d-beating and slightly more advanced death metal drumming techniques, which generates an aggressive energy which I think will appeal to many a metalhead. The uptempo parts on the album compel you to bang your head, while the heavier breakdowns are very moshing-friendly. The guitar leads are aggressive and slightly chaotic, which is another feature that fans of old school death metal should like.
The vocals consist of guttural growls – at times accompanied by screams and other vocal noises. Appearing to have been processed through some sort of distortion effect, the growls definitely sound very raw, and the amount of reverb imposed upon them also give them a slight atmospheric touch. Unfortunately, the vocals are at times quite low in the mix, but this might well be a matter of Acephalix being inspired by early Amebix.
In terms of the instrumentation, Acephalix have opted for a very heavy, very distorted, and quite brutal sound which bears similarity to the above-mentioned Stockholm-sound, and this, I think, will also be something that appeals to fans of old school death metal. In any case, it contributes with a compelling brutality to Acephalix' energized crusty death metal.
Deathless Master is a lesson in old school death metal brutality with a touch of crust energy, and it should appeal to fans of old school death metal as well as to fans of crust-metal acts like Extreme Noise Terror, Nuclear Death Terror and Wolfbrigade.
1. Bastard Self
2. Deathless Master
3. Tombs of Our Fathers
4. On Wings...
5. Raw Life
6. Blood of Desire
7. In Arms of Nothing
8. The Hunger