The Tomb Within
13 September 2010
by Tom Dare
Blood. Gore. Evil. Depravity. Oppression. Violence. Brutality. Horror.
Yes, Autopsy are back.
What happens when one of the most horrific death metal bands of all times comes back with their first new release for fifteen years? Well, if you’re Autopsy, you remind us that you are as fearsome as this:
and make most other death metal bands you could listen to after sound like this:
Autopsy are to most of the death metal scene what The Usual Suspects is to the average episode of Hollyoaks – more violent, more heavyweight, and just better on an unimaginable scale. The Tomb Within pushes all the right buttons – brutal riffs, batshit aggression, doomy bits that make the end of the world seem like a bit of light relief, squealing guitar solos that would make any normal human being shit themselves in fright and all done to a very high standard of horror.
It is not quite as all-consumingly amazing as those early releases, however. Perhaps it is just nostalgia getting in the way, but the first time you hear ‘Charred Remains’ you feel like you’re going to bang your head all the way off your shoulders. ‘Disembowel’ made you worried that the imminent sphincter failure you sensed coming would involve your own intestines flying out of your arse, so great was the fear. Even now, with over twenty years of death metal available, Mental Funeral sounds like the most fucked up, vile piece of odious pleasure hell ever spat out for being too wrong even for the Cloven-Hoofed One to cope with. And while it is undoubtedly very good, The Tomb Within does not quite have that level of “fuck me, this is depraved!” that the name Autopsy can conjure up.
Having said that, if you like death metal and you don’t track this down, you’re a total fool. From the opening crescendo of squealing distortion that leads into the opening blast of screaming from Chris Reifert, Autopsy are unmistakably back in force. The riffs are brutal, the doom crushing and the aggression savage. Perhaps Reifert and the gang are saving their choicest slabs of despicable for the upcoming album Macabre Eternal, perhaps they’re just a tad rusty. But even if the album is exactly as good as this and nothing more, it will still be an object lesson to hordes of wannabes that this is how you play death metal. The slight detraction is only due to the insane standards they have set for themselves.
Bring on Macabre Eternal. Autopsy still sound like a roaring lion next to many of death metal’s mewling, blind and feeble kittens. The majesty may not be quite as awe-inspiring as at its absolute peak, but this beast still knows how to rip a cadaver into pieces better than most.
Sounds like: Obituary, Morbid Angel, Celtic Frost
Top tracks: The Tomb Within, My Corpse Shall Rise, Human Genocide
Autopsy – The Tomb Within tracklisting:
The Tomb Within
My Corpse Shall Rise