Autopsy – Puncturing the Grotesque EP (Peaceville)

Monday, 4th December 2017
Rating: 8/10

And so continues Autopsy’s productivity after their ballyhooed 2009 reunion, one that didn’t necessarily pave the way for other retro death metal reformations, but it sure has set an awfully high bar. Both 2011’s Macabre Eternal and 2013’s The Headless Ritual have hung around as vicious, dingy slabs of old-school death, providing the band a platform to build other releases upon, in particular, 2014’s Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves and ensuing EPs and splits. The band’s latest, Puncturing the Grotesque, shows few vintage death metal bands are having as much fun as Autopsy. (After all, this is a band who named an album Shitfun, so there you go.)

Created to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary, Puncturing the Grotesque offers up six new jams, along with a cover of the American Bloodbath’s “Fuck You!!!” We’ll lunge immediately for the title track, which boasts a high-octane thrash-on-punk riffing, something not terribly far out of reach from Diamond Head’s “Helpless,” a song eventually popularized by Metallica. The ranging and rampant “The Sick Get Sicker” and sludgy “Gas Mask Lust” are, as you would imagine, are highly effective reaches into the bowels of sloppy DM, while the ominous “Corpses at War” offers up one of the band’s more effective riff tandems of late, especially as it volleys between Floridian angles and doom.

A veritable American death metal institution, Autopsy sounds as ripe as ever, which, for a bunch of getting-up-there-in-years metal dudes, is about all you can ask for. Moreover, the band’s legacy remains untarnished, in fact, probably growing by the second, especially after Puncturing the Grotesque piles it on.

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