Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! Ya girl, The Saw, has another New Album Review, but with a Heavy Breakdown, for you, today! On September 30, 2022, Morbidity Triumphant, by the legendary Autopsy, was released via Peaceville Records. It’s been eight years since we’ve received a new full-length from the Old School Death Metal outfit, and while we talk often about the evolution of a band and their sound, Morbidity Triumphant shows that Autopsy has not evolved at all! And I’m ok with that!
Chris Reifert (drums, vocals) was the drummer on Death’s debut album, Scream Bloody Gore. Once Chuck Schuldiner (Death, Control Denied) decided to leave California to return to Florida, Reifert left Death and formed Autopsy. In August 1987, Reifert and Eric Cutler (guitars, vocals) founded, arguably, one of the most influential Death Metal bands in history. From the KINGS of Brutal Death Metal, Cannibal Corpse, to the venerable Obituary and, basically, any American Death Metal band in between, Autopsy is credited as a major influence on the band’s sound.
In 1988, Danny Coralles (guitars) joined, and has been a constant in the band ever since. Autopsy had a couple demos, but in 1989 they signed to Peaceville Records and released their debut album, Severed Survival. In 1991, Autopsy released Mental Funeral. Their sophomore record continued the “Doom Death” style that the band pioneered, and is named as one of the most important albums to help form the California (and American) Death Metal genre.
After a couple more records, where the band did, in fact, attempt to experiment with their sound and style, Autopsy disbanded in 1995. The band briefly reunited in 2008 to record two new tracks for the special edition of their debut, Severed Survival. 2009 saw them perform at the Maryland Death Metal Festival. And with 2010 came the announcement that Autopsy had reunited, producing a few more records over the years with their trademark, Doom/Death Metal style.
So, with this context, ya girl was excited for a new album from Autopsy. In 2021, they picked-up a new bassist (Greg Wilkinson), who’s playing reminds me of the old-school Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Testament, etc.). And the new record is exactly what you would expect from these legends! The musicianship is incredibly tight – a key characteristic of the genre. Drumming, not ironically, reminds me of the older Death records; pure Death Metal, with lots of ride (symbol), double-bass, single strike snare, and mid-range speed that sets-up the “Doom.” As I’ve mentioned, I love the bass playing, here! Wilkinson plays in a way that would normally drive a drummer crazy! He is up and down, and all around the frets. Just beautiful work! So, the drums and the bass seem a vehicle for the Thrash-heavy riffs of the guitars. Usually, the movement is a slow, crunchy, sludgy pace on guitars. Often, though (via the influence of the mid-career records), the riffs are grinding, mid- to fast-paced tempos that serve to accentuate the S…L…O…W… beatings of crushing grooves. It really is a beautiful thing! Arching over all this are the vocals, verbally telling the grotesque story. Reifert and Cutler use a different style than one would normally consider when thinking of Death Metal. The lower register gutterals of Florida Death Metal (and even NY Tech-Death), are obtainable, at times, on the record; but it is an interesting, slightly higher, gravely range utilized for most of the tracks (Possessed vocals come to mind). But it works! And the style is comfortable in the musical fray.
- Chris Reifert (1987-1995, 2009 – present) – drums, vocals; studio bass (1988-1990, 2009-2010)
- Eric Cutler (1987-1995, 2009 – present) – guitars, vocals; bass (1988-1990, 2009-2010)
- Danny Coralles (1988-1995, 2009 – present) – guitars; live bass (1988-1990, 2009-2010)
- Greg Wilkinson (2021 – present) – bass
- Severed Survival (LP) – 1989
- Mental Funeral (LP) – 1991
- Retribution for the Dead (EP/Single) – 1991
- Fiend for Blood (EP/Single) – 1991
- Acts of the Unspeakable (LP) – 1992
- Shitfun (LP) – 1995
- Tortured Moans of Agony (Live) – 1998
- Dead as Fuck (Live) – 2004
- Horrific Obsession (EP/Single) – 2009
- The Tomb Within (EP/Single) – 2010
- Dark Crusades (Live) – 2010
- Macabre Eternal (LP) – 2011
- The Headless Ritual (LP) – 2013
- Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves (LP) – 2014
- Skull Grinder (EP/Single) – 2015
- Puncturing the Grotesque (EP/Single) – 2017
- Live in Chicago (Live) – 2020
- Morbidity Triumphant (LP) – 2022
Rating: 8/10! Groovy; a slow beating of the Old School Death Metal sort!
Favorite Songs: Final Frost, Born in Blood, Flesh Strewn Temple, Skin by Skin, Slaughter of Souls