Autopsy - Morbidity Triumphant Music Album Reviews

Autopsy - Morbidity Triumphant Music Album Reviews
Energized by the presence of a new bassist, the death metal pioneers still stand apart from the pack.

Autopsy were outsiders during the death metal boom of the late 1980s. While rising regional scenes in Florida, New York, and Sweden were beginning to define the young genre’s sound, Autopsy were out in the San Francisco Bay Area, surrounded by thrash and punk bands. Possessed, arguably the first death metal band, were among their only true peers locally. That isolation, paired with their commendable stubbornness, twisted their musical vocabulary into a thrillingly alien tongue. “Even going back to the first album, we didn’t do anything that maybe we were supposed to be doing, what would be the quote-unquote ‘norm’ of the time,” founding drummer and vocalist Chris Reifert said in an interview with Machine Music.

That first album, 1989’s unimpeachable Severed Survival, is one of the most original death metal albums of the decade. Autopsy absorbed the down-and-dirty energy of the Bay’s punk, hardcore, and thrash scenes, but even more notably, they embraced the slow, blues-based doom of bands like Trouble and Saint Vitus. There’s an undeniable groove to Autopsy’s music that’s unusual for death metal, and a lot of that is thanks to Reifert. He’s the rare extreme metal drummer who can bend the shape of a song to his will, and in guitarists Eric Cutler and Danny Coralles, he found willing partners who could ride his warped groove and add their own violent splashes of color.

That’s still Autopsy’s core trio on their latest full-length, Morbidity Triumphant, and punkish, doomy death metal is still the core of their sound—but the addition of bassist Greg Wilkinson seems to have reinvigorated the band. Autopsy have gone through bass players at roughly the same clip Spinal Tap went through drummers. Wilkinson, a metal lifer who also plays in Brainoil and Deathgrave, is the eighth person to step into the role. Around the same time he joined Autopsy, he also teamed up with Reifert for a sludgy duo project called Static Abyss, and the obvious joy of their collaboration bleeds into Morbidity Triumphant. Though Wilkinson only contributed to one song as a writer (the excellent “Final Frost”), his assured playing anchors the entire album. In one of its most memorable moments, he plays the menacing, dirgelike opening riff of “Skin by Skin” unaccompanied, establishing a center of gravity for the song while Cutler and Coralles layer on wild paroxysms of shrieking, flailing guitar. With Reifert behind the kit, Autopsy has always been a rhythm-driven band. He’s death metal’s Bill Ward, and in Wilkinson, he’s found his Geezer Butler.

Reifert is also one of death metal’s all-time great vocalists, and he’s in fine form on Morbidity Triumphant. Most death metal singers walk down one of a handful of paths—deep, dry gutturals; throat-shredding, higher-register barks; or a wetter, mid-diaphragm growl. Reifert’s approach is to careen across all three tracks on an out-of-control dirt bike. His isn’t the kind of vocal range that’s measurable in octaves, but as a death metal singer, he can go anywhere from the catacombs to the belfry. The way he jumps between styles only serves to emphasize the unhinged quality of his voice. Opener “Stab the Brain” depicts a stomach-turning “ritual abortion sacrifice,” and Reifert’s retching amps up the nausea factor tenfold.

On “Tapestry of Scars,” Reifert embodies a sadomasochist with pathos (“When I cut, my soul’s revealed/Clean is ugly, only scars are real”). Eventually, he seems to lose himself in his own method acting to deliver the album’s most unsettling passage, jumping outside of the meter to ramble in an off-kilter cadence: “Fuckin’ stabbing/Stabbing/Ugh, stabbing!” It’s a trick he’s used before, and it always serves to make the chaos in his narrator’s head feel a little more viscerally real. It’s not the only time on Morbidity Triumphant the band returns to familiar ideas: crazed vocals, punk attitude, churning doom riffs, expressive bursts of lead guitar. Old-school death metal is a crowded scene these days, with albums by aging OGs and new blood alike coming at a faster clip than ever. Without having to reinvent themselves, Autopsy still stand apart from the pack and their brand of bloodletting still sounds fresh.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Autopsy - Morbidity Triumphant Music Album Reviews Autopsy - Morbidity Triumphant Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 10, 2022 Rating: 5


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