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4 out of 5 skulls
November 14, 2014 | ,

Autopsy Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves

Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves is the latest, grisly slab of death metal mayhem from the legendary Autopsy. Ever since the band’s return with the stellar Tomb Within EP and the full-length Macabre Eternal, expectations have been high. Releases since have been typical Autopsy, but nothing to sever a finger and write home about with your own blood. The group’s latest studio release isn’t quite up to that first two slumber breakers, but it is much better than they last release.

Chris Reifert has never sounded more unhinged and diabolical — well not since Acts of the Unspeakable perhaps. Just take the second song, “King of Flesh Ripped,” for example. While Cutler and Coralles shred away at their plethora of riffage and sickening leads, Reifert has already hit screams, belches, utterances, re-swallowed vomit barks and deranged ramblings all within the first minute. The dude is as varied as anyone else in death metal.

Musically, TH&G is right in the band’s wheelhouse — swampy tones, buzzing guitars, manic drum work and thundering bass. Combined, the band just sounds like they are not only fighting insanity, but one another, and yet the shit all comes together for a cohesive listening experience. The band has some how perfected the sound of sloppy death metal without actually, you know, being sloppy. The opening volley of mayhem in “Savagery” is prime example.

The title track is a pounding beast of a song, with maniacal drum work and vicious vocals as the guitars drive you forward to your own cerebral meltdown before slowing down and holding you there at the precipice with wavering, crawling guitars. ”After the Cutting” is a raucous, thrashing track that lets up off the accelerator momentarily Reifert to catch his breathe before the band dives back into the miasma of madness. “Teeth of the Shadow Horde” is about as straightforward as these guys get as pile-driving drums dominate and a vomitous lead spews forth about half way through. And “Autopsy” is a densely layered aural assault of tempo shifts, swampy riffs and Reifert’s unhinged delivery — it sums up the album and the band nicely.

Autopsy have another solid offering for their legacy with Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves. It’s not as genre defining as some of their past material, but it is the band doing what they do best — delivering grisly, nauseating death/thrash with their own deranged methods. Buy this shit.

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