ASPHYX — Last One on Earth (review)

ASPHYX — Last One on Earth album cover Album · 1992 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"Last One on Earth" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Dutch death metal act Asphyx. The album was released through Century Media Records in October 1992, only little over a year after the release of the band´s debut full-length studio album "The Rack (1991)". "The Rack (1991)" featured the three-piece lineup of bassist/vocalist Martin Van Drunen, guitarist Eric Daniels, and drummer Bob Bagchus, but the sessions for "Last One on Earth" saw the former getting fired after completing his vocal tracks, and new lead vocalist/bassist Ron Van Pol being brought in to record the bass tracks.

Stylistically "Last One on Earth" continues the ultra raw old school death metal sound of "The Rack (1991)". It may even be a more unpolished and savage release than its direct predecessor featuring a production job straight out of hell. The guitar tone is so distorted and murky, that it´s not always audible which notes are being played, and the soundscape is generally very noisy and incredibly brutal. If you thought "The Rack (1991)" was a raw sounding death metal release, try listening to "Last One on Earth".

The high level brutality of the music and rawness of the sound production, however also means the material come off a little one-dimensional, and Martin Van Drunen´s distinct sounding voice and tortured growling vocal style is also a bit of an aquired taste. With the opening track "M.S. Bismarck" Van Drunen introduces war themed lyrics, which would become a reoccuring lyrical theme throughout his career (both upon his return to Asphyx but also on his other projects Hail of Bullets and Grand Supreme Blood Court). "Last One on Earth" also features occult/anti-Christian lyrical themes.

Upon conclusion "Last One on Earth" is probably one of the most raw sounding death metal releases I have listened to in my time, and although I perceive myself as a huge fan of old school death metal, this album has always been a challenge for me to get through, because of the extremity of the sound production and the unrelenting brutal assault of the music. It´s not fast-paced and brutal death metal like Suffocation or Cannibal Corpse, but a much more primal version of the style, predominantly staying in mid- to slow paces and very rarely speeding up the tempo. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
60 days ago
Nope. Kinda gave up after the first two. ALthough it makes sense. Some old school death metal bands have early albums that don't appeal to me even they are the more popular ones whereas the newer ones that are more experimental are usually more my cup of speed. This album on the other hand is a great big meh for me. It's ok. I'd give it 3 stars as well.
UMUR wrote:
60 days ago
Have you listened to the next one after this one? Personally I find that one much more appealing.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
61 days ago
I've tried but can't get into Asphyx. I don't get why so many love this album. It's just OK


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