What the heck is a SLEDGEHAMMER AUTOPSY? Is it attempting to decipher the state of the dead cells of a cadaver that was pulverized to the point of being unidentifiable even from dental records under a microscope? Or maybe perhaps attempting to sift the bones from a pile of indistinguishable pieces of flesh? If this is the picture that comes to mind for anyone going in low-fi, independent, gory Death Metal directions, it is actually a pretty accurate picture of what “Mortician’s Apprentice” sounds like. And yet, even with this vividly disturbing image in mind, until experiencing this for yourself you literally won’t know the half of it.
As best as can be surmised, this is a rather odd marriage of east coast American Death Metal ala CANNIBAL CORPSE and the most brutally chaotic fringes of Grindcore. presented in the most vocally unintelligible of ways. Presented in the most vocally unintelligible of ways, the subjects here range from deranged serial killers and war protest to the horrific images of insect plagues. The vocalizations are probably most heavily influenced by Lord Worm, though familiar guttural animal noises from a number of recent followers of his in the Brutal scene are near equally present. The music, though masked under a really inconsistent production job, is largely a simply helping of ugly atonal riffs and get fairly repetitive quickly even though the songs are notably short in scope. The presentation, including the somewhat droning and imprecise solo on “Entomophobia,” is sloppily done yet fitting.
Though I can’t really say that this is the sort of stuff that I go for, this is pretty good for what it is. The production quality varying so drastically from one song to the next, combined with the fact that the band goes from fairly orthodox Brutal Death Metal to short-live Grindcore ditties abruptly about halfway through the album is what holds this thing back a bit. But given that this little demo can be obtained for free, it would probably be worth checking out if you live for Death/Grind with a low grade sound.
(Online March 18, 2011)