Since Autopsy’s return just a few years ago, the band has been quite prolific. “Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves” marks their third-full length in the new millennium, and much like the two before it, it brings plenty of good ideas to the fold. For the most part, these ideas are nothing new for Autopsy, particularly on the first half of the record. In fact, most of this album could be considered an extension of “The Headless Ritual”, but with slightly less melody. The music is still disgusting, aided largely in part by Chris Reifert’s disturbed vocals. It sounds like his voice gets deeper and deeper on each release. He’s able to change his attack with each line of words when he wants to, and this means things can be completely understandable one second, and incomprehensible the next. This incredible ability is displayed well on the title track, which shows Reifert doing everything from incredibly guttural vocals, to higher-pitched black metal-esque rasps. Accompanying Reifert’s distraught vocals are franticly paced guitar solos. The opener, “Savagery”, has quite a few of these, and that song barely breaks 2 minutes. This track shows the band at their best: playing fast, aggressive death metal, with an emphasis on conjuring atmosphere amongst the brutality.
When the band does slow down, it gives them an opportunity to explore more sadistic melodies. In “King of Flesh Ripped”, for example, the guitars work in harmony to create sickening moments of awe. The next few tracks largely continue what the first two songs have set up. The album takes a much more interesting turn on its latter half, as the band comes up with some unique ideas that haven’t been seen on an Autopsy album before. “Deep Crimson Dreaming” is the highlight; Joe Allen’s bass playing on this song is absolutely incredible. It isn’t particularly technical, but he picks his spots correctly and makes the bass cut through the mix in a way that really enhances what the rest of the band is doing. This track is quite slow, but it gives off the feeling that the title implies: the mood is incredibly creepy. “Parasitic Eye” continues showcasing a new side of Autopsy by opening with some bluesy riffing. It sounds a bit strange to call anything this band does blues, but it seems completely appropriate for this track. Of course, most of the song is your standard Autopsy affair (though this sound comes back later in the track), but this slight bit of variety really improves the album substantially.
“Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves” is pretty much your standard Autopsy record. Like the last one, it flirts with innovation, but ultimately stays the course the band has set. They are releasing material pretty quickly, but it’s still pretty decent stuff. While the heights of “Macabre Eternal” haven’t been reached with this record, it will still appeal to fans of Autopsy. The band might benefit from cutting their albums even shorter, but there is no bad material on this release.
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"Deep Crimson Dreaming"
3.9/5 or 78%.
Written by Scott