Review Summary: The Tomb Within isn't the return to form we hoped for, but it's close enough.The Tomb Within
will probably be heralded as a stylistic return to form, and can probably be called their best since Mental Funeral
without a single listen, if only because what followed the '91 classic was a slow crawl transition into becoming Abscess and, as a result, a band no longer worth listening to. Approaching The Tomb Within
I had but one expectation--not that it would be up to par with two death metal classics, but that it would be better than another supposed return to form: Obituary's Darkest Day
. Man, that album was a piece of shit
To be blunt, The Tomb Within
is a solid EP but far from anyone to call it a return to form. Autopsy are once again recording songs longer than two minutes and yes, they're back to writing straight to the point death metal, but through the album's admittedly brief 20 minutes it's easy to feel like something's missing. What The Tomb Within
lacks is the extra layer of pungent, sewer-y filth that defined their best works. Undoubtedly these five songs are a step in the right direction, and opening track's energy and virility shows they've still got the chops to excel within the genre they helped pioneer, but with the exception of “Mutant Village” The Tomb Within
feels rushed. “Seven Skulls” seems to end just as it finds its footing and “My Corpse Shall Rise” is little more than a few solid segments bridge by awkward, undeveloped transitions. Even “Human Genocide”, a track the band has had nearly 23 years to perfect, feels unfinished.
Of course none of these songs are bad; it's the opposite, actually, but one can't help but get the sense that there should be more to them. Ultimately, The Tomb Within
's is generally faultless, though one can make the argument that Reifert's vocals aren't what they used to be: his lower and higher ranges are as close to the slimy drawls of his earlier years as one could realistically expect, but the mid-range, half-spoken groan that sticks its neck out at times is as puzzling and bizarre as it is nonthreatening. At best, The Tomb Within
is a reassurance in the wake of the upcoming Macabre Eternal
. At worst, it's still better than Darkest Day
. Seriously, Obituary should be ashamed of themselves for that one.