Friday, July 5, 2013

... Slaughtered by the Beast : AUTOPSY "the Headless Ritual" (Album review)

Some facts are sometimes a bit hard to understand and/or accept... One of my main frustrations over the last couple of years is to  have not been able to see AUTOPSY in LIVE conditions! After a hiatus of 15 years, the band came back under the lights already 3 years ago, released "The Tomb Within" (ep), then their 5th album "Macabre Eternal" and finally 10 days ago this "Headless Ritual" came out; a pretty active recording activity but a dramatic Live "non-activity" which sux hard...
Oh, I know this isn't the guys fault, but more of personnal constraints who seem to make it always complicated in the best cases and impossible for the most part of time ; even in their early days they've never been touring extensively over here and it looks like they will never, I feel this is sadly a definitive statement...  but fuck that's something very very hard to accept,  especially when you feel that the band has reached its peak (1st and 2nd life confunded !) and that on the other hand bands like Carcass and Bolt Thrower are playing the biggest festivals for 5 or 6 years while having nothing new to propose or Morbid Angel still fascinate masses with lame new stuff !

Sure, with pride and conviction, Autopsy has always remained in another category, at the top of it though but you know that thing named UNDERGROUND, extremely dedicated to their fans, opened to all fanzines and blogs, they never followed some of the doubtful rules of the business market, never made any artistic compromise...
AUTOPSY is a highly respectable name and one of the very rare bands which you can buy their new album blindly ! I wouldn't say that everything in their carreer is faultless but one thing that can't be denied is that AUTOPSY is a unique band, no bullshit with those guys, don't loose any time looking for another band that delivers such quality in straight, brutal and ultra-horrific Death Metal, there's none since 26 years !!!

But please don't be another of those suckers who say that "Headless Ritual" is average and doesn't sound like Severed Survival or Mental Funeral... If you  did expect that those guys would come back 15 years later, in their forties,  just to reproduce the same stuff as when they were adolescents - with the same technical level and the same type of production, then I think that you simply don't know,  understand and respect them ! 

Don't misunderstand me though, cause -on the other hand - we've got here some classic AUTOPSY, no real surprise that's a fact - even if some noticeable differences with last album value "Headless Ritual" fairly above and place this one among the TOP 3 releases of the band. 

1st, the total length  is much shorter (44 minutes where Macabre Eternal lasted 20 more), also the production is thicker and sicker too (!) thanx to  a considerable emphasis on  malignant horror overfelt all along this new album, modern yes maybe but in no case denaturing anything in the moody essence of the band's sound ... More crushing than ever before, AUTOPSY still builds a great part of their songs on a furious punky Thrash basis like Slayer and Possessed did first as foundation, with lead guitars and vocals as central elements boiling in murky, horror-like atmospheres to rip your face off !!! 

The order of the song is perfect, everything comes together damn fuckin' well and  the overall is cohesive. I'd  say that some separate and distinctive elements stand out - rather than a song in particular, there's more gory madness and wicked grotesquery felt here, for example I dig Reifert's deliberate exaggeration on already inhuman shrieks of his very own; on the song "coffin crawlers" he's more commanding, even almost like evil prophetic to my ears which is something  a bit unusual. Cuttler's riffing is monstrously chaotic while some of his melodic harmonies ("she's a funeral" is striking on that point in particular) are mindblowing and there's even some audacious incursions in NWOBHM territories like on "thorns and ashes" or the title track. 

Always craving for slow  and doomy paces, AUTOPSY reach summits of  hauntingness on  the opener "Slaughter at Beast House" which contains one of the most plodding break in the band's history and some of the most hideous screams of Chris Reifert, just as in "when hammer meets bone" where the transition after a majestic  crawling and gruesome part at around 4:00 is simply hallucinating of brutality.

From their 1st days - more than 25 years ago, AUTOPSY has always been an insane and deranged entity, displaying brutally crushing death metal with an amazing sense of what is truly horror and evil sounding, this album harshly slays and this savage horde of  sickos deliver here triumphantly a masterpiece of brutality which I'm sure must turn into an epic doomed battle on stage... Please come in France guys, a horde of old-school zombies are waiting for your infectious insanity !!!

I know I usually don't review "BIG" albums, but in my opinion 1st rule in the "blog club" is that there's no rules, hahaha ! so there can be a few exceptions... just simply AUTOPSY has always been one my fave bands since their early days and I dig this album !!!  but of course that's not a reason to expect a review from "13", "Everblack" or "Surgical Steel" on this blog... ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment