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Death Metal

Terrifying and Triumphant: AUTOPSY’s Ashes, Organs, Blood, and Crypts

What kind of intro am I going to write for Autopsy? They’ve been around for goddamned 36 years. 36 years! This band has been making music and kicking ass longer than a lot of people reading this have been alive. Suffice it to say, they are legendary, and they’re still doing what they do best: ferocious, raw, Death Metal. There’s no bullshit with this band. They come out and deliver blood-soaked riffs along with blood-soaked lyrics in an avalanche of brutality that never wavers. Does their new album, Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts, deliver on past promises? You bet your ass it does.

There’s not a lot to review here. What you’re getting is straight-up Autopsy Death Metal. There are no weird deviations, no prog-rock diversions, just in-your-face Death mixed with some Doom and a little bit of jazz here and there. The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the production. It’s really nice to hear a mix that features all the things clearly and coherently. This is no wall of sound. You can hear every guitar, every drumbeat, the vocals, and even the damned bass, with no interference or crossings or washings out. So refreshing. Nobody gets in anybody’s way. This kind of production adds depth to the sound and rewards repeated listening, because every time you put the album on, you’re likely going to hear something new.

As for the songs, it’s best to just highlight some things going on here. Opener “Rabid Funeral” rips down the gates and comes on strong, a fast gallop, shredding guitars, pummeling drums, and never mind that voice. And the bass! Not only does it underpin and give the entirety a floor to dance on, but there’s also that outro with the jazzy-jazzy noodling that gives the song that extra bit of layering that makes things so much more interesting. “No Mortal Left Alive” gives off those subterranean, cavernous Doom vibes that really accentuate the power of other songs on this platter. Peaks and valleys, and this valley is deep and h-e-a-v-y. I know nuance is something kinda lost in Death Metal most times, but tracks like this really create shade and build depth for the overall record. Also, it’s a killer tune, all on its own. And let me say, Reifert’s vocals here and all over have that rasp that only age and experience can create; terrifying, triumphant, authoritative.

“Well of Entrails” crawls before it rages, and oh my how it rages. You’re being dragged face-first through a cave full of jagged rocks before being thrown on a slab to be voraciously devoured by some starving, cannibalistic riffs. The title track slams, mixing some Black Sabbath in with some harmonics and booming, earth-throttling drums, before falling into a pile of squeals and then rip-roaring across your balls. “Toxic Death Fuk” chugs, baby, chugs, and glugs, almost bibulous in verve and swerve, so powerful that the coughing about 45 seconds in is understandable. It’s so drunk that you can’t blame Reifert for getting choked up. “Death is the Answer” is a whirlwind of riffs, a guaranteed pit stomper that will get the crowd spinning and whirling, sweating and headbanging. The closing track “Coagulation” is a slow strangulation, the blood from your wounds finally clotting, a desperate attempt to save your life from the savagery that has come before. But it is too late for you, dear listener, for once again, your body has been laid out on the examination table, and the Autopsy has already begun…

Another fine album by a very fine band. They don’t reinvent the genre, they simply luxuriate in the metal. Autopsy is clearly a band that loves to make music and they more than clearly make it well. They promised a lot with this newest title, and it lives up to the name and the legacy. Ashes? Check. Organs? Check. Blood? Gallons. Crypts? Yes, and quite haunted, too. Nothing here will blow you away, but it will certainly warm the dead parts of your soul. Dive in and feast.

Written By

Grew up in Kentucky, lived in NYC for a bit, lived in San Francisco for 17 years, moved back to the Bluegrass. Love to write, love horror and metal. I have over two dozen short stories published in various anthologies, as well as two novels, The Turning and Men of Perdition.

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