Archive for Autopsy

Interview with Autopsy

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th September 2013 by Contra Mundi

Autopsy have been the Godfathers of Gore since their formation in 1987, and despite a lengthy reprieve from the extreme metal scene that lasted fifteen years, have continually inspired generation after generation with their visceral and chilling mash of death and doom metal. With the release of the tremendous Macabre Eternal in 2011 and the imminent release of The Headless Ritual this year, I was given the privilege to do an e-mail interview with the band to see what lurks beyond Autopsy’s legendary status and what goes on in the minds of such sadistic geniuses.

Alex: There was a considerable length of time between recording Shitfun and Macabre Eternal, and now you’re planning to release The Headless Ritual. How does it feel to be back recording Autopsy material after such a long period of time?

Autopsy: It’s all a big blur to me, like much of my life… We’re fired up, freaked out and juiced… Just the way it should be… Brace yourself, because we’re going to assault the holes in your head mercilessly!

Alex: What is the feel of the new album? Is it picking up from where Macabre Eternal left off, or are you looking to achieve something different?

Autopsy: It’s an Autopsy record so you may know what to expect to some extent… It’s noise, filth, brutality, etc… A bit of mindfuckery at play… Just crank it up and take the ride, that’s what I say… Uunghh!

Alex: How would you describe your song writing process and has it changed over the years?

Autopsy:  We write, therefore we bleed.

Alex: What inspires your subject matter and how do you keep it fresh and unique when so many other bands use similar ideas?

Autopsy: The Bay City Rollers are our chief source of inspiration, obviously! No, you don’t buy that? Maybe there’s just something wrong with us… Well, that’s certainly true, but otherwise we know how to tap into the bubbling mass of weirdness that lies inside our minds and souls… That’s it… No secret formula, just embracing the ever present sickness… Don’t try this at home, kiddies! Oops, I mean do!

Alex: There are a lot of bands in the British metal scene that list bands such as Entombed, Possessed and Autopsy as their main influences. Why do you think that is?

Autopsy: Good taste, perhaps? Haha! Fuck, I dunno… Good metal is good metal no matter where you’re from… There are tons of British bands who have influenced bands from other places as well… It all goes in circles ultimately… Jump in and take a spin!

Alex: How do you feel about the extreme metal scene today?

Autopsy: I’m on top of the moon shitting rainbows of course!

Alex: There will be fans still following Autopsy from when you first formed, but since the release of Macabre Eternal, there will be a younger generation that are maybe hearing you for the first time. Have you noticed a change in your fan base?

Autopsy: I have noticed the younger generation rearing their ugly little heads indeed and I think that’s fucking great… It would suck if all the old farts died off and there was no one left to enjoy this stuff, ya know? Plenty of these young crazies are right up front at our gigs going apeshit, which rules… It’s great because they seem to know all the lyrics and everything, so I can look at them if I get lost and get a cue… Convenient, huh?

Alex: Are you planning on doing a UK tour or playing any of the UK metal festivals in the near future?

Autopsy: No touring as usual… Haven’t done that since ’93, although we’ve haunted places all over the world with select events that left destruction and insanity in their wake… At this point we’re not booked for any overseas gigs, but keep your eyes, ears and skin peeled because you never know what’s going to happen.

Alex: What bands do you enjoy listening to at the moment, and are there any that you would particularly like to perform with?

Autopsy: I listen to way too much stuff to list here… It’s crazy… I will say the bands we’ve played with this year so far have all been fucking bat shit amazing… That means Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Noothgrush, Black Breath, Bone Sickness, and Scolex… All total winners, heavy hitters and all around cool people… I consider us lucky to have shared the stage with these nut cases.

Alex: Is there a song of yours that you think defines Autopsy completely?

Autopsy: The one in the middle of course!

Alex: What are your all-time favourite albums?

AutopsySevered Survival, Mental Funeral, Acts of the Unspeakable, Shitfun, Macabre Eternal, All Tomorrow’s Funerals and The Headless Ritual… Shameless self plugging, anyone?

Alex: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film, which one would it be and why?

Autopsy: How about Fantasia. Can you imagine Mickey Mouse conjuring magical madness to any of our tunes? Haha! Waiting on that call from Disney any minute now.

Alex: Is there any advice that you would give to a band just starting out?

Autopsy: Turn back before it’s too late! Still here? Good, you’ve passed the first test… Now, just keep showing up… That’s the main thing… Show up and let the chaos fly… Oh yeah, don’t listen to the likes of me or anyone else… Carve your own path and stick to it… Put your heart, soul, blood, guts and nightmares into it… And stay away from those goddamn drum triggers or anything else that makes your music sound like plastic.

The Headless Ritual is now available for purchase. You can read my review of it at this location.

Autopsy online:

Autopsy – The Headless Ritual

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 4th September 2013 by Contra Mundi

The Headless Ritual
Released 28th June 2013
Death Metal
Released via Peaceville

Autopsy have always been a band that have been held in high regard by metal fans. Even when they had their ten year hiatus from extreme music, they left a gap hardly anyone felt comfortable filling, so when they returned with the triumphant Macabre Eternal; an album that was filled with malice, hate and quiet confidence, I was uncertain if Autopsy would be able to delve even deeper into their bloodthirsty souls and emerge triumphant once more.

 The Headless Ritual is something of a treasure. It is far more of a slow burner than Macabre Eternal which was filled with sludgy, punishing riffs and songs such as ‘Sadistic Gratification’ that you endure rather than listen to as you feel dirty and violated to hear a woman pleading for her life to manic screeches of laughter. The Headless Ritual is, as one of my friends put it, essentially an alternate soundtrack to a 70’s Zombies B movie. It reeks of horror, disgust and filth and though you should walk away, you are seduced by the grimy guitar tones and the rasping vocals of Chris Reifert. He sounds like he has the flu, but that only adds to the terror of the album and the entire impression that it is wholeheartedly unclean.

The first track ‘Slaughter at beast house’ is like being out through a meat grinder. It churns away in true Autopsy style with odd, but solid guitar harmonies, thrash drums and sickening vocal lines. It has a number of breakdowns that add to the malice of the track and hint more at funeral doom than visceral carnage, but it all works. It is exactly what you expect from a band as seasoned as Autopsy, but their trick is that they haven’t stopped trying to find new ways to ravage their listeners. They never re-tread old ground, much like Deicide, who have addressed the same topics throughout their career, but never repeated themselves.

Another stand out track that effectively makes the skin crawl is ‘Coffin Crawlers’. It sent chills through me when I first listened to it. The riff is the image of panic in a horror movie and as the solitary guitar is joined by other guitars in the perplexing harmonies that Autopsy are notorious for, the tension rises until you can’t bear it any longer and the rest of the track trundles along further into jeopardy and satisfaction.  Chris Reifert outdoes himself in terms of vocal performances and is startling with his screams and choked groans. The beauty of this song and overall the album is that there is so much going on. Aside from those lurching guitar harmonies and jarring solos, there is a solid base of chuggy riffs, impressive drum patterns and enthusiasm which carries the songs forward. It is far more sinister, and sounds like Macabre Eternal’s older, more dangerous sibling.

When Hammer meets bone’ is another fine example of the Autopsy formula with thrashy, technical drums, gasping, choked vocals and guitar harmonies that sing out over the rest of the deluge. The single ringing guitar notes just halfway through the track sound bizarre, but they work, which I think is a big contributor to Autopsy’s enduring status. Chris growls and hisses throughout the track and it makes your hair stand up on end as the guitars descend once again into the domain of horror-soaked sludgy doom and make the listening experience a harrowing one.

The concluding album track ‘The Headless Ritual’ is an instrumental and displays the individual musicians in Autopsy as artists within their own rights. They function exceedingly well as a unit and that is why they can get away with grating harmonies and odd time signatures because they function together so well and this great album is a tribute to that discipline.

Ultimately, the album is a solid creation of sickness and sinister goings on and excels in everything that Autopsy have brought to the genre of death metal. The technicality of their work is as always brilliant, as is their ingenuity at experimenting with guitar harmonies, vocal patterns and drum accents to create something that should give you a headache with its surrealism, but beneath all the madness is something of an enduring classic. It is an album which will satisfy the most loyal of Autopsy fans, as well as appealing to fans perhaps only just discovering the genre with its raw subject matter, technical musicianship and variety of genre.


Alex Cook

Autopsy online:

Autopsy set to return from the grave after 15 year hiatus, new album released in June

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

June 24th (unless you’re over in the States, then it will be July 2nd US) marks the return of Autopsy, the US masters of brutality, with their sixth studio opus of horror and all-out madness, titled The Headless Ritual, on Peaceville Records. Featuring the returning quartet of Chris Reifert, Eric Cutler, Danny Coralles, and Joe Trevisano, The Headless Ritual is a relentless monster of violent and brutal death metal mastery delivered in the unmistakable Autopsy style of chaotic riffing, insane solos and doom-filled interludes, all served with the band’s unhinged brand of vocal sickness. The album was recorded and mixed April 2013 at Fantasy Studios in California with Adam Munoz, and features cover artwork by renowned artist Joe Petagno (Motörhead, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin). As the band comments:

Expect nothing less than the monstrous brutality that Autopsy has been known to offer. Laurels will not be rested upon, trends will not be followed and mercy will not be shown. Mark your calendars for June and pick out a coffin to lie down and die in. Darkness and death await…

The tracklisting for The Headless Ritual is as follows:


Among the early breed of US death metal pioneers, Autopsy formed in 1987 in the San Francisco bay area and released four albums on Peaceville Records. Beginning with the classic debut Severed Survival in 1989, they disbanded in 1995 with members going on to form Abscess. Autopsy triumphantly and officially returned from the grave after a 15 year hiatus with the 2010 EP, The Tomb Within, followed by the release of the band’s widely acclaimed fifth studio album, Macabre Eternal in 2011.

Ectovoid – Fractured In The Timeless Abyss

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 1st June 2012 by izaforestspirit

Fractured In The Timless Abyss
Released: May 2012
Death Metal/ Black Metal
Released via Hellthrasher Productions

‘Fractured In The Timeless Abyss’ is the debut album from Resurgency’s “label-mates”, the American death metal band Ectovoid.

Straight from the opening riff of ‘Transcend Into the Moonless Night’ it’s clear that this is brutal death metal. The vocals are the stereotypical, Morbid Angel -style guttural growls whilst the guitars have a certain dry, droning quality about it which is similar to Autopsy. This pretty much sets tone and the overall pace for the rest of the album where each track offers more of the same, skilfully executed but ultimately average sounding death metal.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing particularly bad about it. There’s some good tracks on here such as: ‘Dark Clouds of Conciousness’ which draws the attention towards the drums and the somewhat bizarrely named ‘Chewing Through the Membranes of Time and Space’ which features some thrash metal guitar solos making it stand out. Another noteworthy track is the Autopsy-esque, death metal-meets-doom with hits of thrash metal ‘Locked In Dismal Gaze’. Then there’s some surprises such as the short, piano ending to ‘Splintered Phantasm’.

Overall, the main issue here is that there’s really not much variation between the songs.


Iza Raittila