Autopsy: The Headless Ritual (Peaceville Records)
Released 17th June 2013
Autopsy’s sixth full length player is a master class in death metal savagery says Dominic Walsh.
Having formed in the late eighties, Autopsy went on an indefinite hiatus in 1995 before a one off show in 2008 led to a full reunion a year later.
The band still has the same core of founder members; Chris Reifert on drums and vocals and Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler both on the six string plus a stream of bass players. Holding the bass position since 2010 has been Joe Trevisano.
The Headless Ritual goes straight for the jugular from the off. ‘Slaughter at Beast House’ opens with furious drumming and riffing, before Reifert’s savage vocals hammer home the intensity of the album opener. Starting out as a thrashy number, the track enters a very doomy middle section before a frenetic solo takes it home with shrieks of ‘slaughtered by the beast’ from Reifert.
More extremely guttural vocals are in play for the more mid tempo macabre of ‘Coffin Crawlers’. ‘Thorns and Ashes’ opens up with vocals that could have been lifted from ‘The Walking Dead. Zombie like murmurings give way to a track similar to the opener. A fast paced thrashy romp with more doom leanings expertly mixed in. Again, the track plays out with more fiery fretwork from Coralles and Cutler.
‘Flesh Turns To Dust gives the whole band chance to shine. A bass led opening sets the tone and again some awesome work by the guitar duo. Reifert’s drumming is urgent and his vocals at their brutal, screaming best. ‘Running From The Goathead’ has some superb duelling guitars as well some very hypnotic doom riffing. The album closes out with the title track which is one of many highlights of this excellent, gore obsessed, doom/death metal opus.
All words by Dominic Walsh. More work by Dom on Louder Than War can be found here.