San Francisco's Acephalix began as a hybrid of crust punk and death metal. Given that a couple of their earliest releases came out on Prank, it's natural a little punk would shine through the murk. Through a pair of tapes released in 2010 and 2011, and packaged together as Interminable Night, the death-metal influence became more prevalent. D-beats were still a component of the band's machinery, but the riffing began to resemble Grave and other stalwarts of 1990s Swedish death metal.
Like many bands astute enough to keep their ears to the ground (yet not imaginative enough to forge a unique identity), San Francisco's Acephalix clearly realized, as they readied their sophomore album, that the crustcore micro-movement they once championed had pretty much run its course (all musical trends being insanely ephemeral these days), and so 2012's Deathless Master sees them jumping on the old-school death metal hearse with all due enthusiasm. Shall we elaborate? Then here's a play-by-play of the album's first four songs: in quick succession, Acephalix bid adieu to those former crust allegiances on opener "Bastard Self"; accept the gospel of Entombed on the title track (its melodic bridge is a ringer for the Wolverine Blues album); wave a bloody appendage in salute to Suffocation with "Tomb of Our Fathers"; then embrace other titans of Swedish DM, such as Carnage, Grave, Dismember, et al. , with the chuggah-chuggah swing of "On Wings.
Acepahlix formed in 2007 and are currently based in San Francisco, CA. The old-school, filth-encrusted death metal of Deathless Master is all throttling intensity, with just the right amount of crustiness. Acephalix aren't interested in filler, nor do they feel inspired to ease the listener into the particulars of their sound. At a bare half-hour, not a moment is wasted.