One of my favorite parts of this album of the day exercise is when I can talk about bands that I feel should be more widely known and respected. I especially like when I'm talking about a new album in the process. So today I'm doubly stoked to be writing about Autopsy.
First a little history lesson for the uninitiated. Autopsy are one of the most influential American metal bands of all-time. No, you won't hear their name mentioned by enlightened music journalists alongside the likes of Metallica or Slayer but that's their fault, not the band's. Back in the early to mid-80's before death metal even existed there was a small group pf bands pioneering a new sound. Bands like Death, Possessed, Athiest, Obituary, Massacre and Autopsy (amongst others) were right at the forefront, taking thrash (and in the case of Autopsy, doom metal) and twisting it into this new form of musical extremity. With their first three full length albums Autopsy would become one of the most important bands in metal history. Their sound - equal parts slow, deathly dirge competing with tortured, blasting madness - would go on to influence countless bands. Chris Reifert's vocals alone made Autopsy instantly recognizable. The man sounds like Satan himself on a very bad acid trip.
No offense to offshoot Abscess, but I was pretty stoked a few years back when I heard they were reforming. The new material they dropped in the form of an EP and a full length over the last two years were stellar and did nothing to tarnish the bands good name (unlike some other bands who've crawled back out of the woodwork recently). I was even more stoked though when I found out their next release would not only contain new material but also include remastered versions of all their previous EPs (most of which are now out of print and/or extremely hard to track down). Usually when a band "remasters" old material it's either a money grab or a way to try and "fix" the previous release (which as Megadeth proved is just a bad, bad idea). But what Autopsy has done instead is simply allow you to revisit a part of metal history that you may have missed out on previously. They've once again done things the right way and have given us 22 tracks of brutal and perfectly executed death metal. 1990's Retribution of the Dead and 1991's Fiend For Blood have absolutely stood the test of time and sound as phenomenal and relevant as they did 20+ years ago. Plus, the new material fits in so well with these classic releases that a newcomer to the band would have to look up the track listing to figure out what songs belong where in the lexicon of the band. That's a good thing. This album is highly recommended for Autopsy fans and newbies alike.