If you listen to Aphyxion’s second full-length album ‘Aftermath’ before finding out anything albout the quintet, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn they hail from Ribe, Denmark. This is because their take on metal is one that could only come from a Scandanavian nation.
This brand of commercial melodic death metal hasn’t felt very cutting edge since Soilwork and Scar Symmetry showed the world how it’s done in the mid-naughties. However, the European metal market still has an audience hungry for bands that serve up polished grooves with stadium choruses, and from the chugging that opens the album on ‘Dark Stains on Ivory’ it’s clear that making melodeath is Aphyxion’s modus operandi.
They exhibit a definite knowledge of their craft exhibiting huge riffs with memorable hooks. ‘Destined to Fail’’s opens with a melancholic lead guitar riff that aims for an epic sound, while ‘Born to Stand Strong’ exhibits a mid-paced chorus designed for pumping fists to in festival crowds. More interesting is the extent of electronics used on the record, which only enhance it’s distinctly European character. ‘The Nature of Mankind’ is awash with pumping pop synthesisers that could also be used in Denmark’s next Eurovision entry.
But for all its catchiness ‘Aftermath’’s one dimensional songwriting hinders it from being of any more merit. Instead this makes Aphyxion’s metalcore contemporaries in Betraying the Martyrs or Bleed From Within feel much more alluring to listen to than delivng further into the world of melodeath.
There’s enough good moments here, but Aphyxion haven’t given melodic death metal the shot in the arm it needs here.
‘Aftermath’ by Aphyxion is out now on Prime Collective.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)