Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves (Peaceville)

Sunday, 8th June 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

In all fairness to Autopsy’s undeniable legacy and influence, DR didn’t have to dig into the netherworlds of its cranium to dissect Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves. Killer title, though. In what has become one of metal’s more unfortunate happenings over the last five years, the throwback brigade has come close to nullifying bands like Autopsy, or Entombed circa 1990, primarily because they’re not smart enough to bring their own ideas to the table. And when a band such Autopsy gives it another go after an extended layoff (the band became fully reactivated in 2010), frankly, it’s hard to get up for such a thing. That’s the way it goes, unfortunately.

However, there are some smart, heady dudes within the Autopsy ranks, notably drummer/vocalist Chris Reifert, whose death metal pedigree is second to none thanks to his work with Scream Bloody Gore-era Death. Reifert’s unholy, ravenous vocal belch is utterly convincing and animated, especially when he gets going on a slow, molten number like “Burial,” which creeps like a masked stalker in the night. Something like that. On the album’s faster cuts, he throws his vocal weight around like it’s nothing, giving the supple “Teeth of the Shadow Horde” some all-American cackling.

Trademark, dyed-in-the-wool excursions such as “After the Cutting,” “All Shall Bleed,” and most important of all, “Autopsy” (the song) are fattened up by the band’s choice and distinct use of evil harmonies, a common occurrence that gives Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves some initial staying power. But again, problem is, we’re going to get some stupid variation of this next week, and another one right after that. So if you push these infinitely weaker bands out of the way, then Autopsy stands alone on top of the gore-soaked mountain with Exhumed. In a perfect world, that’s all we would get here in the States.

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