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I feel bad for Autopsy. I really do. If Abcess wasn't a hint enough that Chris Reifert wanted to tweak his musical style, then Autopsy's most recent albums are a testament to the fact. The bar is set so high after Severed Survival and Mental Funeral, the hope for a new cult classic is tempting. The new Autopsy is punk-doom with not-so-much growling vocals, but more Chris shrieking at the microphone. Sounding more like a horror movie soundtrack rather than the atmospheric doom of yesterday has separated many fans, but Autopsy still brings the attitude when needed and the brutality throughout. It is tempting to fall into nostalgia when thinking about the first two masterpieces that Autopsy has created. Sadly, classics are lightning in a bottle, only attainable during a very small period of time. The truth is that the angst and anger has dissipated and new Autopsy is essentially a tribute band to a time forgotten. The scene is different, the creators of death metal are aging, and Chris Reifert and co. are creating their own brand of death metal with a healthy dose of the classical sound that the fans crave.
The music itself is clean, but a tad murky with a much more audible bass guitar than Macabre Eternal. The guitar work is predictable, but menacing. The drumming of Chris Reifert is simplistic, but precise. He can achieve a great degree of difficulty at times. The vocals rarely differ from that on Macabre Eternal, but the use of high shrieks are more common. One thing that this album does very well is hold your attention, and that is not easy for a doom- influenced band to do. Just when the music becomes a bit stale, a new element is introduced that changes the sound. And when you do wait for that climactic end, they always deliver.
In songs such as "Flesh Turns to Dust", the resemblance to older Autopsy is seen. "She is a Funeral" has a haunting chanting sound about halfway through, something I wasn't expecting from this band.
In conclusion, this album is good, but not fantastic. Yet I have a large amount of respect for them because of their persistence in playing their punk-influenced brand of death metal. We are all secretly waiting for the next Mental Funeral, but this is not a band alternative at all.