“Asphyxiating Devotion” is the debut full-length album from Italian death metal band Ekpyrosis, and contains just over 40 minutes of crushing, mind-bending death metal. The name that immediately comes to mind when listening to this release is Immolation, as Ekpyrosis does an admirable job of emulating the American gods. This worship is evident from the jagged style of riffing employed throughout the record, as well as from the band’s propensity towards using pinch harmonics to the point of excess. The end result is an authentic slab of brutality with just enough weirdness to keep things interesting.
One area where Ekpyrosis differs substantially from Immolation is in the vocals. Compared to Ross Dolan’s absurdly deep, hollow growls, Ekpyrosis’ vocalist has a rougher, more barbaric (but still very deep) approach. This makes it even more difficult to understand the lyrics, but fortunately, the music is so good that it doesn’t matter. The songs on “Asphyxiating Devotion” tend to be chaotic, with frequent blast beats and atonal riffing; however, Ekpyrosis also manages to take on new territory on occasion. “Profound Death”, for example, has some doomier moments that show the band exploring their slower side. On occasion, some of these songs lock into a tight groove, featuring rolling double bass that provides relief from the otherwise constant onslaught the more common pounding drumming.
Though “Asphyxiating Devotion” is not an album filled with classic tracks, it is consistent in its approach and in its effectiveness. There isn’t a single weak track on the record, and it could easily pass as a mid-1990s death metal album if it weren’t for the slightly stronger production (which still is considerably less clean than most modern metal). Ekpyrosis can’t really be criticized for anything they do here because this record is executed to perfection. At worst, it might be one track too long, but it certainly does not overstay its welcome. Ultimately, if you are a serious fan of old-school death metal, “Asphyxiating Devotion” is a must-have record!
Be sure to check out and like Ekpyrosis on Facebook!
All of it
4.25/5 or 85%.
Written by Scott