Autopsy - Skull Grinder

Autopsy - Skull Grinder

(LP, Peaceville, 2015)

Believe it or not, Death Metal is really challenging and this is why there are many bands trying to write good songs but fail miserably because they are just putting out noise covered under multiple layers of distortion. No, the good ol’ Death Metal is a more aggressive version of Thrash with growling vocals and lyrics dipped in blood, guts and gore. At least, this is the Death Metal I learned the first time I listened to DEATH’s records. The US have a long tradition of giving birth to awesome Death Metal bands and one of those is AUTOPSY which after its reactivation has been delivering killer tunes. “Skull Grinder” is some sort of a special release that was set to see the light of the day on this year’s Black Friday exclusively on vinyl format. So, let’s see what we’re dealing here, because from my point of view everything checks; gore-y artwork, 12” vinyl and old school Death Metal. Am I forgetting something?

And the answer is absolutely ‘no’! “Strung Up And Gutted” kicks the door down with a hearty grunt and then blasts its way with down-to-death tuned guitars and fast snare-drumming. Oh my, how much have I missed this steamroller rhythm section that crushes everything on its way in the most enjoyable analog-way of recording! The early SLAYER-kind of guitar solo is the icing on this rotted cake which soon enough explodes in your face in a “Slowly We Rot” kind of way. The title track gets heavier by getting slower with awesome high-hat sound and another killer guitar lead which opens the way for the vocal-chord ripping growling (still, you can understand what the lyrics are saying).

Once you’ve flipped the record on side B, you’ll be welcomed by the intro-like tune “Sanity Bleeds” and it’s ok to feel the hair on the back of your neck standing up hearing all these eerie screams of torment while enjoying the killer lead guitar work. And then the Death Metal balance is restored with “The Withering Death” but not in the high bpms you’d be expecting; the tempo here is close to Doom slow and bone-crushing heavy with amazing bass and drums sounds. The faster break that follows the “all you are is gone” scream offers quality headbanging time but not for long because things slow down again during another amazing solo which will wake up many great Thrash memories.

I know this may sound unconventional but I liked more the second and slower side of this EP and the main reason for this is because the songs sound ultra-heavy and sinister as it happens in the “Leprosy”-smelling “Waiting For The Screams” that has enough guitar riffs to make at least five more songs and another stellar solo.

There is nothing more to ask here; AUTOPSY have put together a killer EP with Death Metal songs from the highest self and are serving this on the best format to listen to music; vinyl. Yeah, the 12” record definitely sounds and looks better, so if you like the traditional Death Metal or have no idea what I am talking about, then “Skull Grinder” is the best thing to ask from Sa(n)ta(n) (use the letters in the parentheses at your own will).





Side A
01. Strung Up And Gutted
02. Skull Grinder
03. Children Of The Filth

Side B
01. Sanity Bleeds
02. The Withering Death
03. Waiting For The Screams
04. Return To Dead


Chris Reifert - Drums, Vocals
Danny Coralles - Guitar
Eric Cutler - Guitar, Vocals
Joe Trevisano - Bass