May 23, 2012 | , | 4

Acephalix, Deathless Master

Acephalix: Deathless Master

Acephalix, hailing from the crust punk-lined streets of San Francisco, abandon their roots (for the most part) with their sophomore album, Deathless Master, in favor of a more traditional Swedish Death Metal sound. Sure the guys still throw in the well-used D-beat rhythm through a good portion of the album, but the Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember influences are much more apparent within the band’s primal sound.

Embracing a sound that is near and dear to my rotting heart — I grew up on Left Hand Path and Across the Open Sea — doesn’t always make an album a favorite. I mean, I love the buzzing guitars as much as the next guy, but I also like a little variety amongst my wood chipper riffs. That said, I’m willing to ignore a little stagnation with Deathless Master. The overall tone of this album is cold and raw. The primitive vibe plastered to the grimy death these guys are slinging is just too addictive and I’m easily caught up in stuff like the crunchy rhythms of the title track or the Unleashed inspired tones on “Tombs of Our Fathers.”

Thick, crusty riffs give way to a pronounced D-beat rhythm with “On Wings…” as these guys settle into a galloping groove while guttural growls add a certain level of darkness and malevolence to the affair. Throughout Deathless Master you’re bombarded by incomprehensible growls that accompany the lead vo-kills whose cadence matches the thick burliness of each track.

The only issue (and it can be a big one depending on your preferences) is the lack of variety from track to track. If you want OSDM without change, then this is your kind of album. If your looking for something different from the slew of retro albums that are currently available, I’d look elsewhere — perhaps to the latest from Black Breath.

Deathless Master is decidedly single-minded in it’s approach to death metal. It delivers solid old school Swedish Death metal with a determined and authentic feel, complete with a fairly raw and unpolished production. If that’s what you’re in the mood for, then pick this shit up.