Swazafix – Anthems of Apostasy

Swazafix_AnthTracking Theo Loomans involvement in and out of Asphyx is akin to running through a labyrinth in a state of panic, so I’ll leave that task to metal-archives.com moderators. Suffice it to say that Loomans made significant (and at times polarizing; some loathe God Cries) contributions to both Asphyx’s genesis and mid-period output before his untimely death at 1998. In between these stints, Loomans made his way into Franky’s Recording Kitchen and produced two demos with his group Swazafix (named after a Carnivore song). The first appeared in 1991, the second in 1992, and both are compiled here as Anthems of Apostasy. A thrashy and raw strain of Death Metal resulted, one bedecked with tightly-drummed mid-tempo assaults, dripping with a venom-filled, biting guitar tone stabbing at your ear canal with reckless abandon. Loomans’ early-Schuldiner caterwaul perfectly complements the all-anger intensity of songs that fully diverge from Asphyx’s doomier DM take with a much more frantic approach. And while the connection to the Asphyx sound remains with the vocal (in my opinion, van Drunen has that Chuck influence also) and trebly guitar tone, that same overall ‘faster’ approach suggests also that Loomans was channelling lingering emotions from his split with his bandmates. Whatever the case, the pace of this remastered two-demo comp stays unrelenting without simply jackhammering you into a pulp with constant blasts, with a dynamic spacing of tempos that sprints right along with guitars. Your takeaway will be that, from the manic riffing of ‘Plaintive Parallels’ to the demonic howls on ‘Burdened Sufferance’, these Death Metal songs come straight from the black heart of a talented and troubled artist, and as collected here, will raise the hackles on your neck. Even the demo-esque characteristics of the recording that made their way intact through the refurbishing (such as the bass-less bass guitar, and drums that move back and forth across the mix) serve only to strengthen the impact of the record. Theo was saying something with these tracks, and in my Southern vernacular that something would be ‘Fuck all ya’ll’.

The music of Swazafix uncovers a Theo unrestrained and out for blood. Whether you are an Asphyx fan or are not (and if you’re still reading you most likely are), get your filthy hands on Anthems of Apostasy and secure all belongings, for you are about to embark upon a joyfully turbulent journey toward the realms of Death. Most importantly, when you arrive, don’t forget to shake the hand of – and effusively thank – Mr. Loomans, the talented pilot that sonically transported you unto the end. -Jim

Vic Records

~ by cliftonium on April 24, 2013.

2 Responses to “Swazafix – Anthems of Apostasy”

  1. Thanks for pointing out this release, ordered it straight away. I’m a sucker for all things Asphyx…

  2. Great! There’s really is some excellent riffage on here; I don’t expect this to leave my rotation any time soon \m/

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