Asphyx and Decrepid at the Underworld, London- live review

Subterranea live

Crowd Shot

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A band whose orbit seems to be locked into that of perennial support, Londoners DECREPID [6] are committed to keeping death metal’s age-old coals aglow, even if they lack that extra mile that would either forge something identifiably their own, or drill down into that seething, atmospheric substrata. The crowd cheer on their animated, gravity-compressed churn, but death metal is driven by a templet-hrobbing impulse that looks simple in the hands of masters, and beyond the grasp of footsoldiers. ASPHYX [8] may now lack any original members, but with Martin van Drunen remaining at the helm, the Dutch band are still channelling that groove-bolstered charge as though it were a perennial force rabidly seeking out new hosts. Salvos like Death The Brutal Way, the doom-laden squall of The Rack and new, crust-spattered tracks like Candiru sound revelatory to old fans and newcomers alike, all welding a rabid crowd into a headbanging whole as tonight turns into a life-and-death-metal testament.

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.