• Asphyx "The Rack" CD (Japan Press)
Japanese Press. Includes 11 tracks from Asphyx Live In Holland - 1991
Asphyx were formed by drummer Bob Bagchus and guitarist Tony Brookhuis in the town of Oldenzaal, Netherlands, near the German border, circa 1987. They were but voracious teenagers fed daily on the rotten meat of Hellhammer, the infected bones of Venom and the brains (read: genius) of Celtic Frost. Long before The Rack terrorized speakers, frightened label bosses and enthralled legions of death metallers, Asphyx in their proto incarnation relied on power, volume and purpose—three traits that carried into the present. After three demos, one now-definitive 7-inch, one discarded album—released six years later in full—and several ill-fated label deals, Bagchus wasn’t going to cower to the infernal winds of change or fold after several unlucky (if absurd) hands. By the time 1990 dawned deadly on Asphyx, the Dutchmen were a formidable force. Brookhuis had exited and guitarist Eric Daniels had stepped in, as bassist/vocalist Theo Loomans moved over to second guitar, allowing Martin van Drunen—fresh off a U.S. tour with Pestilence and out for revenge—to front the band.
The Rack itself wasn’t the product of a foursome, however. Loomans, ever the troublemaker, bowed out, leaving Daniels, Bagchus and van Drunen in a proverbial sweatbox. With songs to reconfigure—80 percent of The Rack originated from the band’s label-free debut, Embrace the Death—lyrics to recast and a deadline looming for a nascent Century Media, Asphyx could have easily ended it with a slice to the neck. But they didn’t. They marched on, resolute to make good on a self-made promise to be the loudest and heaviest death metal band.