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After releasing their debut, Autopsy seemed to have reached their prime rather quickly. Proving all wrong with the release of their sophomore album, "Mental Funeral", in 1991. Building on the underlined doom influences of the previous album, Autopsy takes their music in a new and refreshing direction and creating one of the finest doom/death albums out there. Containing crushing doom riffs packed with sorrow and dread, as well as fantastic drumming that really puts the depression in your face, and not to forget the festering vocals that echo throughout this mature and masterly album to put together a doom/death masterpiece.
After putting this record on the first thing that hits you is a monstrous scream from drummer/vocalist Chris Reifert that slams you in the face. Reifert's vocals take a dramatic turn from the previous LP, into a more deeper, guttural approach than the previous record.. This new style is perfect for this doom style on this record. "In the Grip of Winter" has a great vocal opening and a terrifying tortuous slow break in the middle. "Torn from the Womb" has a great echoing multi-voice part that sounds like it was being recorded in a murky cave and supplied from the monster from the album cover. Other than slows this album has a great deal of murderous screams like tracks such as "Dead" and "Slaughterday". These screams give the album some variety and amazing atmosphere. The lyrical content is typical death metal material focusing on death, torture and sadness. It isn't really anything special but brings along some great vocal lines on "Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay and "In the Grip of Winter". All in all the vocals make this album what it is and really drive the doom/death direction home.
Along with Reifert's great vocal delivery he really shows his skill behind the kit. Playing amazing rolls like that on, "Slaughterday", "Dead", and "Bonesaw". His kit has a great natural tone to it that I really adore, and is probably the best sounding kit I've heard in death metal. Reifert can also keep a great beat and allow the rotting atmosphere to build on tracks like, "Robbing the Grave" and "Torn from the Womb". Overall he supplied an amazing display of skill and along with his drum tone it really makes this album's atmosphere depressing in a good way.
Steve Culter supplies bass on this record and does a good job. The bass is rather low on this record than I would like, but doesn't cause much of a problem when the focus is much more on guitar. Culter shines on some nice breaks on, "Torn from the Womb" and "Destined to Fester" that bring a dramatic suspense to the songs. The tone is great, very clean and floppy making for an overall reasonable tone and playing on this album.
Steve's brother Eric Cutler as well as Danny Coralles bring the heavy doom riffs for this record. The riffing is amazing on this album with songs like, "Dead", "Destined to Fester", and "Dark Crusade". Their tone is crushingly heavy but still being clean enough to make out what is being played which is a feature of this album that makes it so great. Other than riffs the solos are very fast and climactic. "Torn from the Womb" has a great tasteful solo in the vein of Slayer or Morbid Angel. Some clean moody clean guitar work is also present on the closing track, "Mental Funeral" which gives the album a great creepy ending that seems like something from a 80's horror flick. In the end the guitar work fits perfectly in the album and provides memorable riffs, spastic solos and even a few atmospheric melodic parts on the intro to, "Hole in the Head" and even slow melodic parts on "Torn from the Womb".
Displaying great doom riffs, and amazing vocals as well as fantastic drumming. "Mental Funeral" is one of the best albums in doom/death or death metal in general and is a must have for anyone looking to explore doom or death metal genres.