What do you even say about Autopsy at this point in their long and illustrious career? If you’ve by some chance never come across the band until this album, stop reading and go listen to their three classic lineage records and come back to me. Back? OK good, now go listen to a couple of their comeback era as well.
Done? Then here we are, ready to absorb Morbidity Triumphant, the band’s ninth full length that we’ve had to wait about eight years for. Are we to just assume that this is another classic, or should we have a more critical eye on a band ‘reliving past glories’? Let’s find out as it releases tomorrow, 30th September, through Peaceville Records.
Opener Stab The Brain is immediately iconic Autopsy fare; a sludgy swampy riff fights desperately for air amongst fetid vocal gurgles and a thick as fuck bassline before wild soloing rampages through the middle of it. The barely controlled chaos has always been one of my favourite things about Autopsy; most of their albums feel as if they’re straining against the confines of sanity and reality, ready to explode into interdimensional madness. Final Frost brings out the band’s titanic doom tendencies with a monolithic, sludgy riff that descends back into flailing madness in places, while the almost, gasp, catchy The Voracious One is a swaggering deathly Sabbath stomp. I wasn’t quite ready for that.
Despite the vast swathe of bands that Autopsy have influenced over the years, there’s never anything quite like the originals…
Everything you’d expect to hear on an Autopsy album is here. The swampy straightforward death metal (Slaughterer Of Souls), the lumbering behemoth death/doom they helped pioneer (Flesh Strewn Temple, Skin By Skin), Chris Reifert’s iconic vocal vomitations and potent drumming performance; but this isn’t just a by the numbers Autopsy record. There is a little more than you’d expect of that Sabbath influence I mentioned before, while sickening bulldozer Knife Slice Axe Chop is big stupid fun but with a seriously eerie doom breakdown too. It is clear that this extended gap between records have allowed the old dogs to pick up some new tricks, and it keeps their iconic sound fresh and exciting. This could be the most vital work they’ve produced since Macabre Eternal.
Morbidity Triumphant is just that; a superlative achievement for death itself. Few original flagbearers for the genre maintain this level of quality for so long and with such consistency of vision and sound. Autopsy mix gory early ‘90s death with an imperiously deathly doom stride and a gurgling unhinged mania to such an incredible degree, you’d almost believe this was released between Severed Survival and Mental Funeral. Despite the vast swathe of bands that Autopsy have influenced over the years, there’s never anything quite like the originals is there?
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson