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Autopsy: The Headless Ritual

Look up the origins of death metal in the encyclopedia of heavy metal (well, if there was such as thing) and chances are the band Autopsy will be mentioned somewhere near the beginning. Formed by Chris Reifert (drums) & Eric Cutler (vocals) not long after Reifert's departure from seminal extreme act Death in 1987, Autopsy have long been on the scene delivering their brand of gory, old school death metal, though in all these years the band has only recorded six official albums, mainly due to long periods of inactivity and shuffling line-ups. Here in 2013, Autopsy is back once again with The Headless Ritual, along with longtime guitarist Danny Coralles and bassist Joe Trevisano, doing what they do best for all lovers of horror drenched death metal.

When I say 'old school', I really mean it...there's nothing on The Headless Ritual that hasn't been done before, and probably better, but you have to give these guys credit for sticking to their guns and refusing to shy away from their gore splattered music. Lacking some of the technical prowess and propensity to create catchy extreme metal fare like some of their peers, Autopsy lumber along with 10 tracks of absolute brutality here, led by the gruesome, growling howls of Cutler, who really is an acquired taste but does manage to have a style all his own. The riffs are big yet straightforward, running the gamut from death metal bludgeoning, to speedy thrash, to out and out crushing doom. Highlights here are the menacing "She Is a Funeral", the dirge-like "Coffin Crawlers", and the violent "Slaughter at Beast House". There's no subtlety to be found, but then again it's Autopsy, so what did you expect. Take one look at all the song titles and you know what you are in store for..."Running From the Goathead"? Exactly.

Hard to really find fault with anything here, and while those with more sophisticated tastes when it comes to extreme metal might find the lumbering, grotesque approach of Autopsy a bit dated, in reality old school death metal wasn't meant to be fancy or cutting edge. Solid stuff here, as always.

Track Listing
1) Slaughter at Beast House
2) Mangled Far Below
3) She Is a Funeral
4) Coffin Crawlers
5) When Hammer Meets Bone
6) Thorns and Ashes
7) Arch Cadaver
8) Flesh Turns to Dust
9) Running From the Goathead
10) The Headless Ritual

Added: August 12th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2596
Language: english

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