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One of Holland's first death metal bands, Asphyx was formed in 1987 by then-Pestilence mainman Martin Van Drunen (vocals/bass), with Eric Daniels (guitar) and Bob Bagchus (drums). After a handful of demos to close out the '90s, Asphyx signed with Century Media Records and proceeded to release a steady flow of albums and EPs, including 1990's Mutilating Process EP, 1991's The Rack, 1992's Crush the Cenotaph EP, and 1993's Last One on Earth. None of these came anywhere near to breaking the band out of the death metal underground, however, and the disgruntled members of Asphyx chose to split up around this time. Van Drunen temporarily joined (but never recorded with) England's Bolt Thrower and got involved with a number of other projects, but Daniels saw fit to record one final eponymous Asphyx album (with vocalist/bassist Ron Van Pol and drummer Sander Van Hoof) before joining Bagchus in a new band called Soulburn. Strangely, the latter would then "return the favor," when he formed a new version of Asphyx (with vocalist/bassist Theo Loomans and guitarist Ronny Van Der Wey) and recorded 1996's God Cries. Stranger still, Daniels was then invited back to perform on the same year's Embrace the Death, after which Asphyx was officially laid to rest (no, really!). That is, until the year 2000, when the aforementioned Soulburn (consisting of Daniels, Bagchus, and vocalist/bassist Wannes Gubbels) figured "what the hell" and proceeded to release their latest album, On the Wings of Inferno, under the old Asphyx banner. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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1987 in The Netherlands

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