Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves

One could argue that all of the iconic, old school death metal bands that took time off, or broke up then came back (Grave, Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Obituary, Fear Factory etc) , Autopsy has had the most successful return of all without a single hiccup or misstep in their comeback. .

Three albums in after a 16 year layoff has produced three top notch albums including last years The Headless Ritual, which one could argue is one of the best releases of the band’s career and now barely a year later the equally as impressive  Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves.

Of the three comeback albums, I feel this one has closes ties to the band’s seminal 1989 debut, Severed Survival. While The Headless Ritual was more languid and featured more longer, oozing songs, reeking of Mental Funeral, this album has more, shorter, direct songs. Don’t get me wrong there is still plenty of the classic twisted, crawling filth the band is famous for, but there are no 7 , 8 or 11 minute monsters as with the prior two comeback releases.  But for the most part tracks like the immediate punky, crusty throttle and gurgle of opener “Savagery”, the title track,  “After the Cutting”, “Forever Hungry”, “Parasitic Eye”   and particularly “Teeth of the Shadow Horde” are more par for the course.

Fear not though the likes of ‘King of Flesh Ripped”, personal favorites “Deep Crimson Dreaming”, swampy twang of “The Howling Dead” and the superb bluesy crawl of “Burial” deliver the classic slimy, doomy crawl while future classic and favorite live track, the dare I say ‘anthemic’  “Autopsy” ends the album in self homage, mixing feral crust and icky mucus-y scrawl into a perfect, putrid gruel that few bands can match.

However on the flip side, the production appears to have been cleaned up and dried up a tad as the sound isn’t nearly as filthy as the last two albums. Now this isn’t Archspire or other clicky tech death production but it certainly lacks some of the moist, grisly, sinewy throb and twang or yore even if Chris Reifert keeps things slightly dirty with his ghoulish retching vocals. And thusly, Autopsy somehow manage to be both prolific and keep the quality top notch three albums into a comeback that matches the bands early classic offerings and puts the likes of Obliteration and Slaughterday back in tier place.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 12th, 2014


  1. Commented by: vugelnox

    They still put on a GREAT live show but these reunion Autopsy albums don’t really do anything for me. Too much filler and not enough classic tracks like Ridden with Disease or Torn From The Womb.

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