As death metal’s original purveyors continue to hack and slash well into their 50s, demonstrating that this isn’t “just a phase”, the impact of and love for Autopsy becomes more and more evident. All and sundry sing praises for the Bay Area sickos in interviews, with musical tributes and tattooed flesh.
Sure, their discography isn’t bulletproof (stand up or sit down, Shitfun… please), but since returning to active duty in 2008, it’s been full acrid and fetid steam ahead. This might mean eight years between albums – although there have been a handful of EP and compilation releases – but it also means continued forward motion with hideously coarse, punk-flecked death metal, horror movie doom and grindhouse classic rock, all played with the delicacy of a wild stallion in a glass-blowing studio.
Album number eight puts their stamp back on the sickness as Autopsy’s Jekyll & Hyde sound is executed with gunpowder energy and robust rawness. The galloping death thrash of Stab The Brain and Maggots In The Mirror offer delicious auditory disgust à la Possessed and Exhumed, with additional life given via Greg Wilkinson’s compelling bass noodling, while Born In Blood sounds like an early Nihilist demo outtake.
The Voracious One plays up a Sabbathian shuffle, whereas Skin By Skin slows that groove morosely to give Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler room to air out wailing, arena-rock leads. And then there are Final Frost and Slaughterer Of Souls, which combine both hideous worlds with layered, slow-motion crawls catapulted into chainsaw trotting and drummer Chris Reifert’s uvula-stripping vocals.
But Morbidity Triumphant’s biggest triumph is how, even in its stripped-down state, it still blows away boundaries with riffs and sequences gussied up by four-string flourishes, gutter guitar virtuosity and Sarlacc screams that keep everything aurally interesting and palatable, but still odiously death metal.