Posts Tagged ‘Mental Funeral’

Autopsy were a band that I appreciated a lot more after their recent comeback records. Not that I disliked their older stuff, but until I heard 2011’s ‘Macabre Eternal’, I didn’t really appreciate how good a band they were. I understood their position as standard bearers for the earlier, rawer style of death metal, but only after I become enamoured of their new material did I truly understand their effect on the genre as a whole. ‘Macabre Eternal’ was that raw, slimy death metal style done better than anyone else, and ‘The Headless Ritual’ follows that up by doing everything that the previous record did well, but better.

Opener ‘Slaughter at Beast House’ begins as any Autopsy album does with a chainsaw riff, gurgling vocals and an instantly old school feeling. It’s pretty long at over six minutes, and does contain a slowed, doomy section in the middle in which Chris Reifert’s tortured growl is highlighted. ‘Mangled Far Below’ is such a classic Autopsy song that it’d fit perfectly onto ‘Severed Survival’ or ‘Mental Funeral’. This is pure 90s death metal, given a fresh 2013 twist. There’s nothing here that would surprise Autopsy fans that much, other than the (almost) death ballad of ‘She is a Funeral’. It’s almost straightforward death metal with a rocking chord progression, overlaid with some of Reifert’s greatest gurgling vocals.

One thing that has always stood out about the band though is the massive influence they’ve had on death/doom as a genre. ‘She is a Funeral’ is a great example of how doom Autopsy can be, and the vocals on ‘When Hammer Meets Bone’ are as low end, hell-scraping as you’ll hear. In fact, it is Reifert’s voice that highlights the whole record for me. He sounds like he’s gargling razorblades underwater, and it accentuates the gore drenched insanity that every Autopsy record brings. The macabre ‘Coffin Crawlers’ brings to mind any zombie movie you’ve ever seen, and the close of this track is one of my favourite moments. It’s pure doom, overlaid with spiralling solos and tortured howls. There’s nothing finer. ‘When Hammer Meets Bone’ combines two of Autopsy’s finest features; the barreling chainsaw death metal with eerie, slow malevolent doom. It’s my favourite song on the record.

Autopsy are not here to surprise you, nor are they here to disappoint you. Autopsy exist only to rip your face from your skull and piss in your dead eyesockets. With ‘The Headless Ritual’, they bring 45 minutes of the most reliably sick death metal you could’ve heard this year. Brutal.

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