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Couldn't Tell the Bodies Apart is an awesome slam death metal album, musically. And when I say awesome, I'm talking elite. This album has some of the most skull crushing slams I have ever heard. Awaiting the Autopsy's music is pure, concentrated violence, with slams so heavy someone could listen to them while murdering a man and subsequently have the charges dropped on account of riff induced temporary insanity.
The speed dynamics are what really caught me. The tempo ranges from jackrabbit on a date fast to slow enough to make Chopin's Funeral March sound like Dark Angel. That's a fitting analogy, because some of their slams go into a slow enough territory that's usually reserved for the funeral doom genre. "Backyard Autopsy" is the track to check out to demonstrate what I mean, starting with blasts and tremelo picking, and then transitioning to a chug so slow that bobbing your head in time to it would bear a stronger semblance to nodding off than headbanging. The songwriting is very strong, to the point where the thrashy riffs and chug riffs feed off of each other as two mutualistic organisms, complimenting and enhancing one another. It really is just about flawless how tempo changes are utilized on this album. The riffs themselves themselves are pretty catchy and the drumming is ferocious, staying varied enough to stay interesting. The musicianship is as tight as it gets.
The chick on vocals is a beast. She can growl and gurgle with the big boys, that's for sure. Her voice is excellent and, I'm being dead serious, if I didn't know she was a female before hand, I would have never guessed it in a million years based on her style. She honestly sounds more ravenous and brutal than a lot of men do in the slam death styling.
I'm praising this album like it's one of the greatest slam death albums ever, and so far it is. But now I have to touch on the one thing that almost completely ruins the entire album. It's the singer's bright idea to add grindcore shrieks over some of the slams. You know the chick from the band Tard? She uses a bird-caw like high pitched rasp in her band's music, and it works. She pulls it off well, plus that style fits over deathgrind. But in Awaiting the Autopsy's case, their singer can't shriek worth a damn, and shrieking doesn't fit over brutal death metal to begin with. If that singer hadn't used her stupid shrieking rasps, this album would have easily scored a 90, baybe even a 95, but the album is brought down so, so much because of them. They're that bad. I was talking about "Backyard Autopsy" before. Take a listen, and hear her go from gurgling like a madwoman over the world's heaviest slam to shouting like a teenage girl whose parents won't buy her a Porsche. It's only a few seconds of shouting, but that's it... the song is ruined after that. There's no going back. She does this at least once in a song for about half the album, rendering that half nearly unlistenable. It actually pisses me off thinking about it, because I love the music, and I love her growls, and ruining it with something so stupid and unnecessary is simply a waste of grade A material.
I would literally get down on my knees and beg this woman to lose the shrieks on their next release. If they brought the same riffage, the same type of songwriting, the same production, everything, and just got rid of the rasps, it would be a slam classic. I'm talking Molesting the Decapitated level. Couldn't Tell the Bodies Apart is a good slam album, and it saddens me to say that, because it truly should have been an opus of the genre. I say it's worth a purchase.