The members of Asphyx reformed after a disastrous album for this one-off band which sounds like early Asphyx mixed with late-1990s Vader.
flag of the Netherlands Soulburn - Feeding on Angels (1998)
Feeding on Angels
Century Media

Production: Clean and mechanical, metallic percussive sound.

Review: As the 1990s waned, the fascination with percussive Suffocation-style death metal waned and was replaced with bands like Vader and Morbid Angel, who much like Sepultura on Beneath the Remains before them played a more aggressive, abstract, less-syncopated version of what Slayer were doing, with more discernible melody. Having explored this vein with the Crush the Cenotaph EP, a reformed Asphyx adopted this outlook and made an album as Soulburn.

1. Enter the flames of Soulburn (1:16)
2. Hellish Entrapment (7:36)
3. Crypts Of the Black (4:02) mp3 sample
4. Hymn Of the Forsaken (5:01)
5. Feeding On Angels (7:43)
6. Storming Hordes (5:26) mp3 sample
7. Throne Of Hatred (3:31)
8. Behold the Funeral Candle (5:48) mp3 sample
9. ...the Flames of Soulburn (:50)
Length: 41:13

Soulburn - Feeding on Angels: Death Metal 1998 Century Media
Copyright © 1998 Century Media

This approach presented a number of problems. By rhythmically streamlining the music, it punished the traditional Asphyx style of composition which featured heavy downstroke rhythmic recursion riffs offset by soaring tremolo phrases and finally, culminating in soundtrack-like slower melodic figures, such as we might see on "South of Heaven" from Slayer or "Penetralia" by Hypocrisy. Adaption forced the old Asphyx into using more stop/start riffing, writing melodic riffs in place of more basic rhythmic ones, and edging complexity into the drums and vocals.

The result while not bad does not offer what makes Asphyx great, which is a sense of shifting topography through the motion of change in riff shape, a style that like architecture emphasizes the convergence of different structures toward a common foundation. A number of quality melodic riffs give the music a hopeful feel, while the smash-bang rhythmic interruption detracts from that atmosphere, yet the power of hopeful droning riffs drops us periodically into a trance that calls to mind the trademark Asphyx forsaking of reality for an enveloping ancient feel.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE