Review Summary: Fit For an Autopsy rejuvenate an increasingly bland genre with their politically charged riff-lord that is The Great Collapse.
Deathcore is a touchy subject with many metal fans. Much of it is disregarded simply because of the label, and it is rare that a band makes such a wave in the metal community. With Suicide Silence
being - for lack of a better word - disowned by the deathcore scene, people are starting to turn their heads towards more lesser known and less established bands. Enter Fit For an Autopsy. Breaking into the scene with their 2011 release The Process of Human Extermination
, they steadily climbed the scene’s ladder. In 2015 they released their first album with new vocalist, Joe Badolato, and proved themselves a strong member of the community. Now in 2017, Joe, Will, Pat, Josean, Tim and Peter return with the emotional kick to the head that is The Great Collapse
; chock full of riffs, social commentary, and politics.
Sonically, the record is incredible. Will Putney, guitarist and producer for the band, does a fantastic job in post-production. No one instrument overpowers another in the mix, which makes for a more relaxed listen. The guitars are chunky and very full sounding. Every drum sounds as loud as it should, most notably the booming, but not overbearing kick drum and double bass. The drums of the album are not of typical deathcore fashion. Josean Orta does a great job of sparingly and tastefully using double bass and blast beats, giving this album a more subtle kick-to-the-head sound. The sound relies more on groove and atmosphere to invoke emotion, rather than a full on sonic assault. This is found in the riffs and guitar lines as well. The two instruments work very well together to create a groove that is very unique in this community. Many times you will still hear chugging guitar riffs, but unlike what would be expected, the kick drum typically doesn’t follow the same rhythm. There are many sections where the drums are keeping an interesting beat while letting the guitar create a heavy groove or riff on top. That’s not to say that the guitar and drums never match rhythms, but it isn’t relied on, and makes for a great atmosphere that I feel is very unique to this band.
A highlight of The Great Collapse
is the way it uses its breakdowns. They are used tastefully, as the guitars tend to utilize menacingly blistering or groovy riffs during the majority of the tracks’ runtimes. Though chugging is used in some cases, the breakdowns rely more on heavy, even catchy riffs as opposed to typical open string palm muted rhythms. The most notable being in opening track, “Hydra” and in “Iron Moon”; both of which have punishing breakdowns, while still keeping the energy alive with enjoyable riffs. Perhaps the most intriguing and enjoyable feature of this record is the use of melodic vocals. Badolato’s monstrous Joe Duplantier-esque (Gojira
) melodic vocals add an incredible amount of atmosphere and emotion to the music. Most notably in third single, “Black Mammoth”; Badolato uses his melody in the chorus to invoke a very strong feeling of despair, which pairs very well with the angry nature of the verses. These emotions are a great way of getting message of the song across, having to do with the Dakota Access Pipeline and the struggle of Native American tribes. “When the Bulbs Burn Out” is another example of emotional and atmospheric melodic vocals used to give the listener a feeling of despair and struggle while Joe Badolato belts out lines about our planet dying.
Overall this album is an emotional experience front to back. It is apparent that all members of the band were very passionate about the music and lyrics that they wrote, because this album shines above so much of modern metal. It makes a statement, and whether you agree with the statements and opinions or not, it is hard to say that the message isn’t being conveyed passionately. The band makes an effort to stray itself from the typical deathcore idea of just being constantly angry with showing no other emotion. That being said, there is anger in this record, but the anger comes from a less superficial place, it feels, than most deathcore. The band is angry at the modern iteration of the human condition, and how we treat both the world and one another. The anger is expressed more prominently in the beginning tracks, and as you progress, you’ll find that it transforms into more of a cry for help; personally and as members of planet Earth. This music comes from a real place, and that is part of what makes it so incredible. To reiterate, sonically alone this album is an experience; from the refreshing take on deathcore - be it the riffs or drums or melodic vocals - to the production and mixing itself. The only points being taken off of this record is in the fact that if you aren’t paying enough attention, it is easy to get lost in the sound, and the tracks may blend slightly. Other than that, this album is absolutely an amazing experience from beginning to end. The future of deathcore is looking bright in the hands of Fit For an Autopsy.