Published Nov 25, 2015Since reuniting in 2009, legendary California-based gore outfit Autopsy have been on the upswing, churning out top-notch releases after a 15-year hiatus. Their latest EP, Skull Grinder, is no exception, featuring seven tracks of brutal, blood-soaked death metal that harkens back to their roots. The EP follows 2014's Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves and sees the quartet sticking to their traditional, morbid style that made 1989's Severed Survival and 1991's Mental Funeral influential genre classics.
Autopsy's iconic heavy, dense riffs and Chris Reifert's evil, howling vocals are highlighted throughout "Strung Up and Gutted," while the title track features more progressive time changes and intense grooves. "Children of the Filth" moves from machine-gun fury to a slow trudge, containing blazing guitar leads, while the ominous "Sanity Bleeds" captivates with dark, funeral march tones.
Skull Grinder parallels Autopsy's Retribution for the Dead in many ways, as the band became much more doom-influenced since the 1990 EP. "The Withering Death" is particularly crushing, while "Waiting for the Screams" incorporates more aggravated speed, and the instrumental "Return to Dead" closes the EP with discordant, shrieking guitars. Although Skull Grinder is as predicted, it's exactly what Autopsy know fans want, and they deliver by all accounts. (Peaceville)