Autopsy
Mental Funeral


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
April 22nd, 2010 | 706 replies | 36,052 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


It’s uncanny just how good Autopsy is at perfecting the thick, murky old-school death metal sound that is rampant throughout Mental Funeral. Its wide array of distorted, down-tuned riffs make a wonderful foundation that the other instruments build on, and it’s slower, more deliberate pace makes for an atmosphere which is both suffocating but also spot-on for the style of death metal that Autopsy plays. The muddy riffing in songs like “Torn From The Womb” display exactly what makes Mental Funeral a death metal gem, albeit a hidden one. The numerous guitar solos throughout the twelve tracks toss a curveball to the otherwise crawling tempo, but also add an untold amount of variety which helps bridge the gap between the prevalent slow riffing and the occasional frantic pickup which is used often to bring songs to a sweeping close.

It’s really the constant shifting of pace which makes the album so interesting, because the shorter songs pack a punch despite the track length (the opener “Twisted Mass Of Burnt Decay” being a fine example), while the sheer weight of songs like “In The Grip Of Winter” play around with a style that is more simplistic but equally heavy, if not more so. The bass isn’t afraid to come to the forefront either, laying down more than one impressive solo that keeps things both varied and interesting. Also, a noticeable amount of memorable riffs work their way in behind the deep growls that comprise the vocal department. The vocals are absolutely perfect for the style of death metal performed on Mental Funeral, they are deep and throaty but not unnecessarily guttural and aren’t spewed out at an alarmingly fast pace. Instead, we are presented with a vocal display that is reminiscent of Dan Swano if he grew a little more hair on his balls. However, on tracks like “Hole In The Head”, vocalist and drummer Chris Reifert raises the pitch occasionally, adding another dimension to the sound entirely.

It’s hard to deny the doom metal influences on Mental Funeral, seeing as many of the riffs carry with them such homage to the genre. Indeed, the work Autopsy put into Mental Funeral was inspired by Chicago’s doom metal pioneers Trouble. However, the mix of both genres works wonders, paving a layer of extremely heavy chords underneath the overlying technicality of the solos and a handful of the riffs. This helps show off the variation in the drums, which go from performing fast, tight fills and double bass to slow crashing of cymbals and the steady rhythm of the snare and right back again. Sandwiched between the tracks are a few short instrumental pieces that add atmosphere (“Fleshcrawl”), a complete ass kicking (just listen to the insane drumming on “Bonesaw”, easily the most intense track on the album), as well as a hint of ambiance (“Mental Funeral”) to the album.

The quality of the songwriting and musicianship on Mental Funeral is top-notch, and it’s hard to ignore just how brilliant the final product is. Despite a running time which turns out to be a tad too long, and maybe a filler track or two, the music displayed on Mental Funeral shows exactly how awesome death metal should be done. It doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as it deserves, but I think that is something which makes Mental Funeral so interesting. That a record of this quality could be released in 1991 and not have a plethora of death metal fans all over it is confusing, but when it comes down to it Autopsy could have competed with even the biggest names in the genre with Mental Funeral.



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user ratings (422)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
bloozclooz
April 22nd 2010


1770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

members also liked: death, cryptopsy, morbid angel, slayer, atheist, opeth.

could this get any more elite?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Immolation

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

bloozclooz
April 22nd 2010


1770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dang it

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


31153 Comments


Its wide array of distorted, down-tunes riffs

Down tuned?

Digging: Banks - Goddess

qwe3
April 22nd 2010


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

incantation







orgh

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Down tuned?

Yeah that's what I meant, thanks. Fixed.

qwe3
April 22nd 2010


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is one of my fave dm albums of all time. in the grip of winter rules so hard

americanmusicmachine
April 22nd 2010


3953 Comments


awesome review love the fucking TROUBLE name drop, and yeah this ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLZZZ... JJJKLLL

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

in the grip of winter rules so hard

this x10000000

song slays for days

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Severed Survival is close but I like this better.

Relinquished
April 22nd 2010


24993 Comments


slays for days

TheSpirit
April 22nd 2010


17803 Comments


nicee

Digging: Emarosa - Versus

qwe3
April 22nd 2010


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so glad this got a review now, even though the rating's too low

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was surprised to see that this wasn't reviewed already.

Dryden
April 22nd 2010


12928 Comments


so fucking good

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's a shame their later stuff sucks.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


17212 Comments


niiiiiiiiiice. review brutality

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was leaving that for you to review but if you're going to pass I'll gladly write something about it.

Dryden
April 22nd 2010


12928 Comments


i screamed this morning when i had to push super hard to shit i got light headed

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that's intense



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