Friday, March 22, 2024

Autopsy - Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts (2023)

I was a little surprised to see another Autopsy record so hot on the heels of its predecessor, but as a fan of Morbidity Triumphant, I had hopes that this would continue that trajectory of some of their best material since their seminal works in the 80s and 90s. Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts has a title that certainly encompasses so much of what inspires and fuels the band's music, a love of raunchy horror, B-movie stuff of course, some of which have developed into undisputed classics. Autopsy is one of the bands that best translates this into the death metal medium, just by keeping it so sincere and ugly. Well, if I thought the band was going to dilute their quality by releasing too much in too quick a succession, I would have been very wrong, because this record is just as good as the one before it, in fact it's a little better for my money...

Only marginally, though. Ashes... starts off with the amazing, knockout combo of "Rabid Funeral" and "Throatsaw"; two churning, propulsive tunes that totally set a standard for everything to follow. The first tune actually transforms into this great, atmospheric piece at the end, with some awesome bass lines and messy but awesome leads, while the drums groove steadily along and there are all sorts of moans and growls hovering in the distance. The latter just beats the fuck out of you for the entire 2+ minutes. After that they definitely start to diversify the sound a little more, with some chuggy, death/thrashing moments ("No Mortal Left Alive"), some of their classic, semi-stoner death/doom ("Well of Entrails") and some of that deathpunk & roll they've been known for ("Toxic Death Fuk"). Not every tracks is totally off the cuff with regards to memorable riffing, but at the same time, there's nothing here I'd really skip either, the material is consistently engaging, capable of throwing a surprise or two your way, while totally adhering to the conventions the band has put into place since the late 80s on their debut album. 

The production is incredible here, a little brasher than Morbidity Triumphant, but also buries itself into my ears a little deeper. Chris's vocals are a little more focused and less raving mad, but he's still undeniably one of a kind, and the guitars and drums are flawless throughout. I'm going to give special cred to Greg Wilkinson though, his grooves throughout this thing are more noticeable than usual and offer a nice, fat, creepy lower level to the proceedings that gives you added body and dimension. It's not going to win me any cult status/points, but in the months that I've owned it, I think Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts tops Morbidity Triumphant and becomes one of my favorite albums in the entire Autopsy canon. In fact, I think this one even trumps the debut album, I've been enjoying it a lot, and it might just sit under Mental Funeral as one of their best. The production is amazing, the songwriting doubly so, and I won't be surprised if after a few years, this one grows on me even further. Could there be some future Autopsy masterpiece coming? At this rate, maybe by the Fall!

Verdict: Win [8.5/10]

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