Thursday, 19 September 2013

Autopsy - The Headless Ritual - Review (2)

 Autopsy - The Headless Ritual

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 24/6/2013
Label : Peaceville Records

The Headless Ritual, album track listing :

1. Slaugher At Beast House
2. Mangled Far Below
3. She Is A Funeral
4. Coffin Crawlers
5. When Hammer Meets Bone
6. Thorns And Ashes
7. Arch Cadaver
8. Flesh Turns To Dust
9. Running From The Goathead
10. The Headless Ritual

The Band :

Chris Reifert - Vocals, Drums
Eric Cutler - Vocals, Guitars
Danny Coralles - Guitars
Joe Allen - Bass

Review :

To put things into perspective, Autopsy are Cannibal Corpse-influencing demons with barbed-wire hard-ons and doom-ridden grins. They’re death metal nobility, folks, and their brand new album ‘The Headless Ritual’ has just recently dropped into my Dropbox. And, like the greedy little death/doom metal piggy I am, I couldn’t wait to review the hell out of this.

Opening track ‘Slaughter at Beast House’ aurally tears its way inside your skull, stomps on your synapses and razors at your retinas from the inside. Everything about this track – from its doomy yet grinding guitars to its hammering drums – is the epitome of death metal at its most diabolical… and this is only the first track, you say? Lovely.

The shredding terror that is ‘Mangled Far Below’ comes in with a riff so massive and grinding it practically tore off my eyebrows when I heard it the first time. Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler really bring the guitar attacks on this track: so much so that it is advised you wear chainmail and carry an axe. You know, just in case.

Then comes the epic. At over seven minutes long, ‘She is a Funeral’ starts off magnificently, continues gloriously then ends beautifully. The guitar riffs are just so beastly they practically bite your ears off, plus the vocals are just sheer sonic bliss. And when the solos hit… man, just close your eyes and visit death metal nirvana. Seriously, this song is just perverse in how perfect a death metal anthem it is. Check it out right now!

The twin snake guitars slither up with venomous riffery for ‘Coffin Crawlers’, an alliterative beast with sharp claws that sink straight into your flesh. Then when the blood begins to pour, drummer/vocalist Chris Reifert and bassist Joe Allen bring in the grinding anger and slowly tear the meat from your bones. When it ends, horrid, guttural groans emanate from your speakers, which put me instantly on edge. Then ‘When Hammer Meets Bone’ pounds in properly and we’re back into familiar death metal territory. It’s a furious, whirling pit of metal, with wicked solos and death-defying drum blasts, which turn on a dime into a doom-drenched cadaver, shuffling at you with yellow, unseeing eyes.

Thorns and Ashes’ is a short and sharp shard of metal, bristling with restless anger bubbling, but not quite bursting from, beneath the surface. Then we have ‘Arch Cadaver’, another masterwork from Autopsy, running the whole gamut from doom to classic to out-and-out death metal and back again. It pounds like a hammer; it slices like a butcher’s knife: their roots may be back in the old-school, but this feels defiantly and vibrantly fresh, as though they have been reborn.

Flesh Turns to Dust’ continues the magnificent groundwork laid by its brother tracks and builds upon it with doom, grind, and a mortar of molten metal. Each note played feels like a tolling bell, gathering all the faithful to the church of Autopsy. And when the solos explode, the flock is justly rewarded. The doom gives way to thrash with ‘Running from the Goathead’, which is just a mauling, charging rampage of a track: if you played it in front of a forest, I have no doubt trees would get uprooted.

Our final song is the title track of the album, and ‘The Headless Ritual’ is a fearsome, energetic instrumental outro, with delicious barbed hooks to keep you listening right to the bitter end. Autopsy have been around just over a quarter of a century, and have inspired some major death metal bands in their life (Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Entombed are but three I can think of off the top of my head), but this brand new album shows there is amazing life in Autopsy. Get off your slab and get ‘The Headless Ritual’ into your life. Testify.

Words by : Chris Markwell

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