Beecher – This Elegy, His Autopsy
It still seems an odd choice that it was Earache Records, famous for its elitist death/black/grind metal roster, which signed Beecher. Granted, this is the same label that picked up Dillinger Escape Plan when they needed it, but a hardcore/math/noise band like Beecher? Still, neither band nor label will be complaining considering what a masterpiece this album is.
Manchester’s home grown Beecher have been building a reputation for themselves for quite sometime, helped by tracks like “Dead for Weeks", but on their first album, they never really escaped the sometimes brilliant hardcore/noise sound Converge have been perfecting and defining for years. This time however, all has changed.
‘This Elegy, His Autopsy’ is a stunning work of not just the sound that made them initially, but an eclectic mix of everything that makes metal music so good. Brilliant energetic opener ‘Its good weather for Black Leather’ and single ‘Function! Function!’ are great examples of what they can already do, but even better, suggesting why it was a good idea for these to be the opening songs of the album. Because the rest of the album is a descent through the dark and varied sounds heavy metal can offer. ‘Not Guilty’ is the first example, being a sludgy track which falls into a lo-fi sound on its way, most reckoned to Old Man Gloom’s sound. However on first listen it will sound like a trick, as the next track ‘And on the day that he became a human plumb-line’ can be recognised as something an emo-punk band would create, and is the lightest moment of the album, with its mainly instrumental likeable guitar sounds and light production.
This yet another welcomed variation to keep the listener on their toes however, as it leads into thrash/grind metal track ‘Psycho Galvanic Skin Response’, a track which will blast you through a brick wall due to its sheer velocity. And this album will keep surprising you like that. In an awe-inspiring, energetic way, this album successfully notes all of metal’s sub genres; Thrash, Death, Black, Grind, Math, Sludge and even Stoner on the drug addled bass ridden riffs of ‘Man the Traps’ (a potential follow up single).
Full of surprises and never wanting to come down, this is an essential album for anyone who enjoys heavy music. It goes through a tour of all the classic metal styles, while keeping it fresh in an original way, much like Refused’s ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’. It’s not surprising that the last 4 minutes of 8 minute finale ‘Reach up to the Gods’ is simply ringing out, this time is spent for the listener to come down from the adrenaline rush this album makes, it’s just that good. Make sure you catch this album live and cherish it, you’ll regret missing out on such an exciting time.