REVIEW: AUTOPSY – “Puncturing The Grotesque”
In a world stacked with conceptual albums, pretentious lyrics, and an urge to be erudite and progressive, it’s always fun to see bands that go the other way around, such as Autopsy. The gory nature, carefree attitude and constant need to sound heavy as hell hooked me to these guys a long time ago, and while their music fell on a common place in the last few years, they continue to kick some ass in the form of good old death metal.
‘Puncturing the Grotesque’, the latest entry in Autopsy’s rich discography, offers 23 minutes of pure mayhem, evilness and tales of gore divided into six songs and a Bloodbath cover with a twist (“Fuck You!!!”). Chris Reifert (vocals, drums), Eric Cutler (vocals, guitars), Danny Coralles (guitars) and Joe Trevisano (bass) start by slowly dragging you into an abysmal and chaotic place with the instrumental opener “Depths of Dehumanization”, only to burst into a sequence of some classic American Death Metal with some Doomy elements, all in a very “Autopsy-an” way.
Some moments of inspired lunacy and brainless aggressiveness can be found throughout the extended-play, like in “Gas Mask Lust” and “Corpses at War”, while dragged parts mixed with visceral elements are also plenty, especially in the vicious “Gorecrow”, best tune here. The duo of Reifert/Cutler, as always, dictates the rhythm with their crazy ways, even adding some stoner and raw rock ‘n’ roll elements in selected riffs and verses.
The EP remains constant and flows nicely most times, but I couldn’t help but notice some hiccups along the way. When the band changes too much of its formula – which happens only once or twice – they tend to tone down on the rawness, which ends up making the music sound and feel underwhelming. This sort of discrepancy will surely twist the nose of the more demanding fan, especially those purists who hold up ‘Severed Survival’ (1990) and ‘Mental Funeral’ (1991) as their Autopsy bibles.
Oddly enough, it is the unchanging nature of the band that remains the most attractive and comforting thing about them. Chris Reifert never ceases to deliver beastly performances of devilish possession, as he vomits and growls his way through the songs in a sort of ritualistic chant, while Coralles’ and Cutler’s guitar lines rip through the speakers like razors, all while Trevisano provides great support in the background.
‘Puncturing the Grotesque’ serves as a great appetizer to what’s coming in Autopsy’s career. Not too short to go unnoticed, but not too long to be discarded as annoying, the EP is yet another fine display of old-school American death metal and definitely a statement to those bands that end up trying too much to sound relevant and serious. Recommended.