A horrible hack


Total Destruction: 1999 - 2006

Year Released: 2016
Format: LP
Label: Southern Lord
Reviewed by Adam Fleet on Jul 7, 2016
Back in the early 00s, when it was still possible for a band on a DIY tour to be something of an unknown quantity, Nashville’s best kept secret, Asschapel, blasted through Europe and the UK. They delivered a bunch of blistering gigs, with a sweaty, grubby, no-nonsense intensity which made them pretty unforgettable to those of us lucky enough to catch them.

It's probably safe to say that at that point they were mostly recognisable as a name seen lurking in the review pages of MRR, but little else was known. So having scorched through Europe, it was equally confounding that they more-or-less up and disappeared afterwards. To haunt us forever from ‘underrated band afterlife’. Or so we thought…

It was with some surprise we learnt that Southern Lord has lavished us with a comprehensive double lp discography, compiling the bands entire 31 song legacy, including the monumentally raging Fire & Destruction lp. Deservedly shining a light onto Asschapel’s enigmatic existence for a few more appreciative folk to get hip to.

Musically, Asschapel fall nicely into that classic ahead-of-their-time bracket. Filleting some ferocious metal riffing away from a sturdy crust punk backbone. With some barked, verbal misanthropy, making up the rest of their D.N.A. For a modern compass point, think in the ballpark of Guided Cradle, Instinct of Survival, maybe a tip of the hat to early Martyrdod.

Had Asschapel been around ten years later, they might well have gotten their dues amongst the MPDS crowd, because even now the likes of G.A.T.E.S. , Bludwolf et al, got nothin’ on Asschapel. So with any luck this release might earn them a bit of well deserved credit. But make no mistake, there’s no pretension here. Just heads down, ripping metal, and no mucking about. Asschapel’s savagely raw and grimy shred is all their own. And their particular brand of godless nihilism sounds just as crucial now, as it did a decade ago.

Read an interview with Asschapel here

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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