Static Abyss
Labyrinth of Veins

I’m surprised how low profile a release from a band comprised of death metal legend Chris Reifert (Autopsy, ex Abscess, ex The Ravenous) and his new Autopsy bass player, Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Deathgrave, ex Graves at Sea) has been. Even for Peaceville. I wouldn’t have even heard of this project if it wasn’t for a fine review from the folks over at my old stomping grounds Yourlastrites, I would likely never have heard about the ickily named Labyrinth of Veins.

Born out of Covid-19 and its subsequent lockdown, this duo came together to create this project and album, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, it sounds like Autopsy. Though not quite as sinewy and viscerally moist as Autopsy,  as it has a surprisingly clear production, Static Abyss has that same shambling mix of punky death metal and filthy doom ooze. And of course, Reifert’s feral barks and shrieks singing songs like “Feasting on Eyes”, “Mandatory Cannibalism” and “Clawing to the Top of the Dead”. So he’s still in his Autopsy wheelhouse lyrically as well. Reifert experimenting with intellectual prog rock this is not.

One listen to the track above is pretty much all you need to know. And any words past this are pretty much just filler and fluff. A couple of minutes of gnarly, sneering death metal, then a scrawling, sickly crawl with Reifert’s throaty shouts about severed heads. Then the next 9 tracks do the same thing in different ratios and amounts. Some tracks are doomier and more festering like “Nothing Left to Rot”, “Mandatory Cannibalism”, the vomitous 7-minute title track, and “Clawing to the Top of the Dead” . Some deliver more focus on simple, old-school death metal like “You Are What You Kill”, “Jawbone Ritual” or “Morge Rat Fever”. Most do a little of both, like “Contort Until Death” and “Tectonic Graveyard”. It’s pretty simple, sloppy and satisfying.

The only real question are,  do you want more Autopsy, that’s not actually Autopsy? And how will the next Autopsy album really differ from what we are hearing here? Is this just the grisly leftovers on the butcher’s floor and the prime meat is still on the slab? Isn’t this just basically Autopsy 1.5 and tiding us over and keeping us interested in Reifert’s output in the meantime?. The answer is yes to all, and that’s perfectly Ok.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 18th, 2022

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