Autopsy
Severed Survival


4.0
excellent

Review

by DragonHeartstring USER (48 Reviews)
July 5th, 2013 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Autopsy get everything right in a stellar performance on their debut album, although this remains an album that is by no means perfect

It has been twenty four years since its release, and the impact of Autopsy's stellar debut album Severed Survival is still being felt throughout the entire death metal scene. Around the time this album was being released, the scene was not as rich with great albums as it is now. In fact, the death metal scene was just getting off its feet and was in need of albums that would define the ugly, filthy sound that the artists involved aimed to create. This album would go on to be one of these releases that would inspire and influence almost every band to follow in its wake.

Severed Survival is an eleven track affair that clocks in at forty one minutes long and was released in 1989. The cover art should give a rough idea as to the sickening tales that unfold within this release, with a human body quite literally being torn apart by hooks. Each of these tracks is a gore-splattered example of how death metal should be done properly that isn't concerned with being as technical as possible (the mistake many modern death metal bands make) and is more focused on creating an evil, morbid atmosphere. As such, every aspect of each track is suitably grim and foreboding, and will have the unprepared fleeing. The tones of each instrument are very low and are also produced very crisply (although not to the point of being overproduced) so that the mood of this album remains intact and it feels suitably savage. This is an album that is unrelentingly heavy throughout, but never lets the listener forget its main focus-to really hit home with its evil sound.

Many of the songs here are driven by the bass guitar, which is rather unique for death metal. The bass has a nice tone and is placed right at the front of the mixing so that its low-end rumbling is constantly audible and sets the pace for the rest of the instruments. The guitars are as heavy as could be asked for and are also incredibly varied, from slower chord-based riffs such as the introduction to Disembowel to the tremolo picked guitar lines that are characteristic of death metal. The occasional guitar solo thrown in serves only to sweeten the deal with some lightning fast playing that adds to the overall insanity on display here. The drumming is also very well performed, with some awesome mid-paced beats scattered throughout but also some amazing fills that open up Pagan Survivor. It is moments such as these that show why Chris Reifert is right up there among the best in the genre.

Whilst speaking of Reifert, the man also performs vocals here and his performance is nothing short of fascinating. He jumps between cruel-sounding lows and hate filled higher shrieks in an instant, reflecting absolute insanity through his voice. The gore-soaked lyrics that spew from his mouth in passages of hate and bile are perfectly represented by the vocals to the point that the listener will begin to question whether Reifert actually committed any of the atrocities he speaks of in real life. Whilst the instrumental performances are stellar, it is the vocals that are the real icing on the cake and Reifert could rightfully be ranked up there among the likes of Lord Worm as one of the best in the genre. It is also quite a feat that some of his lyrics remain semi-understandable unlike people such as Chris Barnes who keep their vocals as flat and devoid of emotion as humanly possible.

The best thing about this release is the fact that it continually switches its pace so that a listener will never become bored. Impending Dread pretty much lives up to its name with a series of slower and mid-paced riffs to begin with, whilst the opening track kicks the insanity off with some ridiculously fast paced guitar work. Ridden With Disease kicks off with one of the better riffs here, and also has a very groovy beat to accompany it. This album is definitely one that fans of old-school death metal should consider checking out if they haven't heard it. Whilst Severed Survival is by no means perfect, it's definitely a strong record with a lot to love about it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ViperAces
July 5th 2013


12466 Comments


damn, that artwork is pretty old-school

Wizard
July 5th 2013


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HAHAHAHAAHAHAHA

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

manosg
July 5th 2013


6266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's great.

Digging: Acrimony - Tumuli Shroomaroom

sixdegrees
July 5th 2013


17207 Comments


lo

l

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

JS19
July 5th 2013


4352 Comments


Stop. Reviewing. Things. You. Are. Bad. At. It.

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

ValeriusReturns
July 5th 2013


45 Comments


classic

KILL
July 5th 2013


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

keep on truckin skele

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

FrozenVain
July 5th 2013


2446 Comments


"get everything right"
"by no means perfect"



YoYoMancuso
July 5th 2013


11154 Comments


alternate album art is so much better, as are the two alternate reviews you can read for this album

oltnabrick
July 5th 2013


31114 Comments


no this is the best artwork

ValeriusReturns
July 5th 2013


45 Comments


this is the best artwork, dismemberment

who cares about them other reviews

metal

bump

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2013


14761 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This artwork is old school so ye

Digging: Off Minor - The Heat Death of the Universe

FrozenVain
July 5th 2013


2446 Comments


both album artworks are awesome

ValeriusReturns
July 5th 2013


45 Comments


no, just this one


tempest--
July 5th 2013


13944 Comments


Summary is the most contradictory thing I have ever read.

Calc
July 5th 2013


12252 Comments


skele how does all this negative attention make you feel?

does it feed you? make you stronger?



Hawks
July 5th 2013


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Now Valerius is back this site is going straight to hell.

demigod!
July 5th 2013


44727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i should 5 thia

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

demigod!
July 5th 2013


44727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol summary does not make sense

sideburndude
July 5th 2013


2782 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

perfect tone



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