Before I start this review, I have to say this: If you read my review of ENTOMBED's "Clandestine" album, you may have come across a certain sentence in there that said "SPOILER." Well that spoiler was this album review. Not to change the subject, I like doing little things like that to keep reviewers informed of upcoming reviews....now back to the actual review.
Out of all of the original bands within the Death Metal genre, there's one who still doesn't give a flying fuck about anything. That band is AUTOPSY. Sure you could say the same about BOLT THROWER, DISMEMBER, or even DARKTHRONE for completely changing extreme Metal history with their second album giving the Death Metal genre the middle finger and going Black Metal. But AUTOPSY literally makes every other band sound like they are simply holding back the ugliness of what makes Death Metal its true form. Not to mention AUTOPSY's influence on Death Metal is as much significance as say bands such as MASTER, INSANITY (California), REPULSION, DEATH, and of course POSSESSED. AUTOPSY's ugliness infected the likes of ENTOMBED, NIHILIST, DARKTHRONE, DISMEMBER, WINTER, and BLOODBATH just to give you an idea. And not to mention a list of imitators and bands continuing to feel their influence. In total, they are that rotting piece of carcass in the middle of the road that you run over when driving your vehicle. That stench festers and stays on your tire and you remember it, hoping that you never crossed paths with.
Peaceville recently released the 20th anniversary of their monumental 1991 mass of burning decay album "Mental Funeral" and for good reason. Again, the influence it had on the Death Metal genre, and it's one of the few albums that reeks of total underground mortuary stench. It's ugly. It's raw as fuck. It is everything a Death Metal album should be. The members behind this abomination are none other than drummer/vocalist Chris Reifert, guitarists Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler (also provides back-up vocals) and bassist Steve Cutler. The main features of AUTOPSY's music is the riffs and vocals. Chris Reifert's vocals are the sound of someone vomiting constantly. On top of this, Danny and Eric's guitars are pure fucking sludgy decaying death. Extremely heavy. Again the music resembles everything that Death Metal should be. The songs themselves I won't go much into because already I have described the basics of what to expect: fast blast-beat Punk-influenced mixed with vomiting vocals and at times slow doom-ridden crawling out of Satan's anus riffs. Some of the better cuts on here are "Twisted Mass of Decay," "In the Grip Of Winter," "Dark Crusade," and the title track. And in between these personal choices are even more pure Death Metal ugliness.
With this 20th Anniversary Edition not only do we get the album "Mental Funeral", but we also get a second disc, a DVD showcasing two shows: the first in Rotterdam, Holland in 1990 and the other in San Pedro, Califronia in 1991. Both shows are good quality considering its aged almost-bootlegged video quality. The sound is also a great representation of AUTOPSY live which is pure negative energy in a Punk-like fashion. The only complaint I have about this edition is that it didn't include the "Retribution for the Dead" EP and possibly Peaceville could have turned this edition into a 3-Disc collection. Food for thought you know. To wrap this review up, this is an essential album for any fan of just not Death Metal but extreme Metal in general. Put your earphones on and take your last cold breath as you fall to your back-snapping death in the grip of WINNNTTTEEERRRR!!!
(Online August 4, 2012)