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By Michael Henningsen
Autopsy "The Tomb Within" (Peaceville, 2010)
Old-skool in tha house! When it comes to classic grind, no one did a more Fangora-worthy job back in the day than Autopsy. There were equals, forebearers and even bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation that eclipsed the California trio both technically and stylistically, but in terms of unabashed bloody gore fests, no one pulled it off time and time again with Autopsy’s sublime dedication to good old-fashioned splatter.
Perhaps somewhat disappointingly, “The Tomb Within,” the band’s first new material in over a decade, happens to be a five-song EP. But just as it is false economy to drive one’s tires down to the steel belts in the interest of getting the most bang for one’s buck, it would be a mistake to pass on this little gem under the assumption that all of its tracks will doubtless appear on the long-player that’s rumored to drop sometime in the next couple of months. Sure, you might pay a little more per song here, but it’s a better option than the potential for a blowout when the full-length arrives with a couple of these furious grind-o-licious songs nowhere to be found.
: None, none more black
Forgiving the blatantly plagiarized and therefore wholly ineffectual Silence of the Lambs cover art, “The Tomb Within” sounds start-to-finish the way an Autopsy release should: no-fucking-holds-fucking-barred! Autopsy is a band that could give less than a shit about the grandeur of Opeth-like musical evolution or a career arc that will one day find the band making records that sound like vintage Camel. Autopsy is about one thing and one thing only: in-your-face deathgrind that absolutely reeks of 1991, double-locking tremolo dive-bombs included. And, frankly, what could be better for fans of the form anyway? Right. Nothing. There’s nary a riff here that hasn’t been hinted at previously by a plethora of bands, nor a lyrical theme that hasn’t been in one way or another similarly eviscerated. But with little new ground to be broken in the genre at this point, to hear it proffered with such verve by a band that could easily—and without even a hint of shame—spend the rest of its career sucking the retirement teat or simply rereleasing its laurels, is refreshing to say the least.
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