Autopsy Look Deep Within Themselves, Find Guts on Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
When Suckmaster General Axl asked politely if I’d like to review the new Autopsy, I instantly threw horns, spewed a wordless death-belch of joy and broke the thing immediately to my left. (Sorry, hamster.) He was so courteous and humble about it, too. “Any interest? If not, no worries…” Not realizing, apparently, that he’s the boss, and if he demanded that the new Brooks ‘n’ Dunn-Enya-One Direction collab absolutely fit into our review schedule and I would damn well be the one to review it, then I would damn well review it. Luckily, though, we’re talking about Chris Reifert and company’s Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves, as unlikely a title for Brooks ’n’ Denyarection as it is an obvious one for this posse of death metal’s classic cowboys.
This time out, the Cali quartet are clearly traveling some daring new lyrical territory, with song titles like “Forever Hungry,” “King of Flesh Ripped” and “The Howling Dead”… Ha ha ha! Gotcha! But seriously, the sound of the album plumbs unexplored potential for the band, with all those ferocious death metal explosions shot through with doomy paces and hero-slaying guitar solos… Woah, gotcha again! Okay, what if I told you that Reifert’s vocals are absolutely disgusting? Not surprised? What if I told you that you could power wash a 2,000-year-old jungle ruin completely clear of infesting vegetation and decay with just this album and a good stereo? Still not amazed?
Check out the Wes Benscoter cover art, then, ‘cause that shit is top shelf Grade A death metal prime rib meat and potatoes au gratin (not from a box). Gaze at it again – a moldy, swamp-skinned zombie with teeth clamped over one end of its own intestines, a yard of which is being used as a spongy, stinking tourniquet while the determined abomination slices away the only living limb it’s got left. That’s how I like my irony served: slimy with extra mustard. (Wait, is that mustard?)
It feels wrong for an album review to spend so little attention on the music, but fuck… It’s Autopsy, man! TH&G rips in all the right places, with Cutler’s and Coralles’s leads, riffs and solos all lined up to keep you smashing furniture, punching cadavers or whatever you usually do while listening to unassailable death metal. The gang occasionally drags the tempo down long enough for you to hate-hug a bro in the pit, but everything maintains a constantly satisfying film of fetid grime. TH&G represents everything you’re hoping to hear when you drop the needle on a death metal record, free of –core, prog, tech or any new/old school nonsense.
Feel the tourniquet’s embrace. Relish the bite of the hacksaw. Pitch headfirst toward the grave. Hail Autopsy!
Autopsy’s Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves comes out via Peaceville on April 21 in Europe and April 29 in North America. You can stream the track “The Howling Dead” here and pre-order the album here.