5 – Autopsy – Mental Funeral (1991)

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It takes a truly special death metal album to stand out from the crowd. For every blood stained masterpiece, there’s probably at least one thousand boring & repetitive records which focus far too much on been brutal rather than been memorable. This is one of those special albums. It’s cover gives you an idea what to expect. An indescribable, hideous creature lurching from its lair. It’s a slimy mass that looks like it could burst open any minute and change into something even worse.

This is ugly, brutal death metal with large dollops of doom. It’s riffs are from the Black Sabbath school of thought, only made to sound even nastier. It’s drums are primal thumpings and the bass forms another layer of sludge. The vocals are inhuman barks sound like some monster lurking in the sewers.

But don’t you get that on every brutal or death doom album I hear you cry. Yes, you are do, but it’s how Autopsy execute (‘scuse the pun) these elements that make it a classic. See, Autopsy completely embrace the avant-garde (by brutal death metal standards) on this album. There’s interludes, tempo changes and just nothing it quite as you’ll expect. You’ll think you’ve got a song sussed, then suddenly a totally unexpected riff comes out of nowhere and you won’t know what’s hit you. Yet it all fits perfectly well, nothing sounds out-of-place. It’s heavy as hell, yet still sounds somewhat thoughtful.

The production helps as well. It sounds like it was recorded in a cave somewhere, but that perfectly fits the vibe. I’ve seen quite a reviews for this with something along the lines “Enjoy the filth” and five-star ratings which sums it up. This album is pure filth, and I imagine anyone with an interest in remotely dark music will probably lap this up. If it is your thing, I guarantee you’ll be alternating between scowling and smiling like a serial killer throughout. You can thank me later.

Personal Fave Track: “Hole in the Head”

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