Last year I became familiar with the Bay Area's very own Acephalix and their album/compilation "Interminable Night" which was a titan of crusty death metal that brought a twisted smile to my face, so the wanting for more material from these guys was inevitable. Lo and behold, they gave me what I wanted with their newest full-length offering "Deathless Master" which takes off right where the band left off. The same D-beat driven death metal destruction that the band has become known for is still in tact and there isn't much deviation from that sound, completely embracing the old adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," only they embraced it with a severe amount of malevolence and violence, making for a record that personifies intensity and utter darkness all the same.
Honestly, the droll powerchords that start off the record on the song "Bastard Self" seem completely overused by death metal bands old and new, but Acephalix knew that (and why wouldn't they?) so they incited a darker feeling with a quick melody before getting into the incredibly heavy, midpaced insanity. The heaviness could be compared to acts like Bolt Thrower and Autopsy who thrived off of that sound, but rather than settle for being just another act with a heavy guitar tone and some catchy midpaced riffs, Acephalix injects a very lethal dose of crust punk-like aggression and some blistering tremolo sections that all synthesize together perfectly. The title track and "The Hunger" both epitomize what this band does so damn well and if you find yourself thoroughly enjoying and appreciating the death metal excellence that the band brings with them on these songs while also headbanging like a crazed maniac, then Acephalix has clearly gotten their point across.
Once again I must point out the influence that the hometown heroes in Autopsy must have had on the band and their music on "Deathless Master," because the vocalist definitely took that indecipherable and demented growl of Chris Reifert and threw in some John Tardy-esque howls that command the songs with an iron fist. The bassist doesn't go out of his way to make himself noticed, nor does he really need to because the music is heavy regardless. The drumming on this record isn't overly special either, but there are some notable fills that give some more substance to the music, the track "Tomb of our Fathers" in particular. If you've heard Acephalix's previous material then you will undoubtedly enjoy this album, and if you haven't heard them then clear some time in your schedule, find a wall and then begin slamming your head into it because the feeling after will be similar to one you would feel after listening to "Deathless Master."
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4.4/5 or 88%.