Autopsy, formed in 1987, are one of the longest-running, active Death Metal acts. Admittedly, they did take a fifteen-year hiatus, officially returning with their 2010 The Tomb Within EP. But since then, they have been an unstoppable force and have unleashed some utterly superb albums to add to their vast discography. 2014’s Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves and 2022’s Morbidity Triumphant were both hugely impactful. Now, they return just thirteen months later with Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts.
Autopsy – Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts (Peaceville Records)
Release Date: 27 October 2023
Words: Jools Green
Chris and Greg have still managed to squeeze in a couple of albums from one of Chris’ other bands, Static Abyss, and Chris has also managed to deliver a Siege Of Power album.
Despite Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts being so close to its predecessor, there’s no drop in quality. In fact, you can also look forward to a few creative surprises, as well as the usual sick, twisted and uncompromising music you have no doubt come to expect.
“For this selection,” Chris Reifert says, “we have decided to cast aside musical acrobatics, high-brow labyrinthian showings off of scales, sweeps and noodlings, lush sonic passages and deep audio journeys rare and untold, egotistical trains of thought and neo-classical wizardry and well…just cut your fuckin’ throat wide open and giggle like cretins while the blood sprays in every direction. Doesn’t that sound like fun, kiddies?”
The eleven-track, forty-one-minute offering hits the ground running with Rabid Funeral, a full-throttle assault on your senses. With Chris snarling and barking behind the drum kit, it is a piece that thrashes and twists in all directions, with insane bursts of leadwork punctuating the madness, even when the pace ebbs back in the second half. It’s still a searingly engaging brute of a track, a joy to the ear and a great start to the album.
Throatsaw opens on a blood-curdling roar of “Throatsaw!” which is repeated at regular intervals across the duration amidst the other snarling vocals. It continues in the same full-throttle mode as its predecessor, and the leadwork is even more insane than on the previous track. It’s another snarling beast that annihilates everything in its path.
No Mortal Left Alive takes a different approach. Slowly and discordantly snaking its way towards you, with a protracted edge to the vocals, the pace soon begins to build as the track progresses. There are searing squealing passages of leadwork and a menacing undercurrent, dropping dramatically in the second half to unnervingly doomy proportions.
Phrased to make a dramatic entrance, Well Of Entrails is slow, sinister and precise to open, becoming more so as it progresses. It also harbours a sinister yet exotic undercurrent, which I love. Breaking into a full-pace assault suddenly midway, the squealing leadwork is delivered in magnificent abundance. Finally, it tails back to the sinister yet exotic feel from earlier. One of my favourite tracks.
Title track Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts, opens on a doomy groovy rhythm. But it’s not long before it suddenly breaks into an all-out, full-throttle assault, repeatedly flitting between these two phases, a skillfully maniacal disparity that epitomises perfectly the Autopsy sound.
Bones To The Wolves is another eerie, sinister, slightly exotic-tinged, Doom-rich beast. With spiralling builds and dramatic drops, hitting full pace around midway, it breaks into bursts of even more squealing leadwork. It’s as engaging as it is bonkers.
Marrow Fiend feels like it’s born out of the ashes of its predecessor, doomy yet dramatic and packing a punch along with that familiar Autopsy ebb, build and squealing lead construct and delightfully deranged vocal delivery.
Toxic Death Fuk shakes things up a bit. It’s a track that is swift off the starting block. It’s groovy but driving, addictively engaging with spiralling riffs and chunky pace drops, and the leadwork is more soaring and fluid than on the other tracks. Another superbly engaging, standout piece for me.
Lobotomising Gods returns to the doomy depths to open, punctuated with cavernous growls. But it’s not long before a brief burst of up-tempo insanity ensues, with the remainder of the track switching between these two engaging extremities with fluidity.
The penultimate piece, Death Is The Answer, gets off to a galloping start but suddenly drops off into the doomy abyss midway through, becoming punchy and precisely phrased. The leadwork is haunting, but just for good measure, you get one final, brief gallop to the end before moving into the final piece.
The unnerving Coagulation, with its eerie repeat riffs, snarling vocal undercurrent and screams, has catchy little builds and leadwork bursts that lift you out momentarily out of the eerie mire.
The Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts art is once more by long-time collaborator Wes Benscoter, who was again allowed free rein to let his imagination run amok, creating a gorgeously gory artwork befitting Autopsy.
It will be available for pre-order in the following formats – Limited edition Red LP (Blood) / Yellow LP (Organs – available exclusively from the Peaceville Stores) and Orange LP (Crypts), LP (Ashes), CD and Digital.
Pre-orders of Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts can be made here.