Autopsy - Ashes, Organs, Blood And Crypts (Peaceville Records)
Chances are, when the cover art of your debut album is so controversial that is outright banned beyond its first pressing, yours is a band that is destined to inspire legions of acts to follow. Such was the case when, in 1989, Oakland, California gore enthusiasts Autopsy released Severed Survival - an album that raised the bar musically and visually for generations of death metal bands to come.
Flash forward nearly 35 years to an album with a cover that makes its controversial ancestor look tame, and music that continues to fly the flag of visceral metal high. Coming in as their tenth release to date, Ashes, Organs, Blood And Crypts makes no secret of what it's here to do: stack the bodies high to the tune of gnashing riffs.
Making their bones, pun fully intended, alongside the likes of Death, Massacre, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and many others, it's no surprise that opening track "Rabid Funeral" starts off with the classic death meets thrash sound.
Likewise, calling on the classic death metal sound - which has only been perfected more over Autopsy's 30+ year career - the massive riffs of "Well Of Entrails" border My Dying Bride territory as guitars moan under the immense string bending and deep drums.
Adding a bit more groove to the mix, "Bones To The Wolves" is an instant pit churner, switching from mid-pace menacing to all out fury. With modern stars rising in the genre, such as Frozen Soul and Undeath to name a few, cuts like "No Mortal Left Alive", "Death Is The Answer" and "Coagulation" are reminders that such bands owe much to Autopsy.
Traditionally, death metal has never held back anything - pair a killer album cover, again, pun fully intended, with brutal riffs, pummeling drums and beastly snarls, and you have a formula for an excellent album time and time again. Checking all of these off, Autopsy once again proves that they are and always will be master craftsmen of extreme music.
The Metal Mayan review:
Without question, Autopsy is one of those bands that is synonymous with death metal and is well respected for their lethal doses of brutality delivered with every release. From their earliest days to today, you already have a pretty good idea of what you're getting when picking up any of their releases, though Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts is certainly a refined version owing to continuously improved songwriting.
While many death metal albums are more of an experience from front to back that demands replay without interruption, "Well Of Entrails" is definitely a highlight and should be a staple on any death metal playlist. Perhaps owing to the slow, almost descending vibe it gives over its five minute run time before changing to high speed thrash, it's an excellent balance of speed and precision.
Though limiting live appearances mostly to festivals, east coast fans can catch Autopsy in Atlanta, Georgia, at Mass Destruction Fest on 04 November. 2024 is also looking to be a big year with shows booked in Houston, Texas, and in the Czech Republic.
Until then, visit your local record store and pick up a copy of Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts, out now on Peaceville Records.
Advance copy courtesy of Secret Service PR and Peaceville Records