January 5, 2017 | , | 3.75

Autopsy, Skull Grinder

Autopsy: Skull Grinder

What can be said about Autopsy that hasn’t already been said before. The American death metal stalwarts are as dependable and as complete as the day we all rot into the ground. You know what to expect and you’re never surprised, although, truth be told, I think Reifert may have finally gone off the deep end with Skull Grinder, the band’s latest EP. His delivery has always teetered on unhinged lunacy, but he very well may have crossed that line this time around.

Sloppy, raw, festing death metal is on the menu for all seven tracks here, even the final, EP-closing instrumental. “Strung up and Gutted” gets us off to a gnarly start with thick, swampy riffage and steam-rolling drums to accompany Reifert’s psychotic vocal delivery. There are no surprises here, just solid, sickening death metal by one of the genre’s best. The title track contains some serious, flesh-searing lead work and some nasty, feral screams on Reifert’s part. “Children of the Filth” sounds as if it’s been played through a pile of festering bodies and grimey filth — it’s about as straightforward as the band sounds on the EP.

“The Withering Death” may start off slowly and harmlessly enough (those slow riffs ooze nastiness), but once it settles into its churning, deliberate pace there’s no more hope to be found. This is about as slow as these guys get, serving as a nice change of pace and showing you that they can present the vile at any speed — even the head banging chug toward the end.

All in all, Autopsy present here what they always have — the sickening sounds of re-animated corpses writhing in an orgy of festering innards, feces and putrid flesh. If that’s your thing, and I’m sure it is, Skull Grinder is the shit you need to be infecting your ear holes right now.