Acephalix    

Deathless Master
Southern Lord
2012

San Francisco has now been buried in a death shroud of Swedish inspired death metal thanks to the sophomore effort from Acephalix!  Eschewing the muddiness and crust influences that a lot of their contemporaries are utilizing, Acephalix is concentrating more on Crushing grooves and horrific riffs for a result similar to Grave's masterpiece, You'll Never See. The opening riff on Bastard Self sounds like it has been stripped straight from Dismember's debut and then the song launches into chunky slabs of Stockholm brutality.  The title-track flays you with buzzsaw riffs and a pounding beat.  The vocals are like a gurgling undead ghoul, hungry for flesh.  More subtle Swedish melodies surface from the bowels of the song before the beat continues to hammer at your ear drums.  Up next is my album highlight, Tomb Of Our Father.  The main riff reminds me of Grave but then the song erupts in with speed and violence and a section mountainous near melodies.  Raw Life is a slow burner, with a simmering initial section that lingers in areas of morbidity.  Then at the 2:08 mark, all hell breaks loose!  Frenzied violence is the order of the day as the song continues on a nearly relentless pace.  The album's closer is a plodding affair for its several minutes.  The beat becomes clunky and the song loses me somewhat.  I even think I discern a Darkthrone-esque riff somewhere in the mix.  Acephalix are strong and forceful in their songwriting and delivery, however the album suffers from a bit of overkill in the scene.  So many bands are assaulting the world with this style and Acephalix just isn't doing enough to truly set themselves apart from their peers.  It's certainly a solid album and if you are a fanatic for this subgenre of death metal, then Acephalix will sate your appetite.