Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant Review

When one of the founding fathers of death metal wanders out of the cemetery with a new album, the dead heads of the world take notice. Autopsy is right there with Massacre and Death as a progenitor of this gruesome genre, and on 9th full-length, Morbidity Triumphant they remind you that this is their grave and you just play tourist within its rancid confines. And this new splatter scrapbook finds Autopsy shockingly vibrant, agitated and more rabid than on 2015s Skull Grinder. All the elements that make them so loveably disgusting are here in spades and there’s an extra level of unhinged, goopy insanity packed into the material this time. And what’s this I hear? Autopsy even showcase a few new wrinkles to their sound, including a leering flirtation with stoner doom that no one saw coming. Will this lead to the titular triumphant return for the lords of the morbid morgue slab? Let us count the mouth maggots.

I’ll say upfront that this album sounds and feels like a nasty skin infection. It’s wet, greasy and absolutely sickening from start to finish. Autopsy may be long in the grave tooth, but few bands can inject as much raw repulsiveness into their music as these sickos can. From the first bars of opener “Stab the Brain” this thing oozes infectious viscera. It’s thrashing, bashing brute death but it’s oh so good and hilariously over-the-top. Founder Chris Reifert sounds as unhealthy and revolting as ever and possibly more so, letting loose an everflowing stream of grunts, roars, screams, and vomit noises as the riffs bend, shred and probe your carcass for entry points. It’s the archetype of caveman death but it’s done so enthusiastically that it feels like a whole new ballgame. The trademark crushing doom elements surface on “Final Frost,” borrowing pages from Saint Vitus and Hellhammer to season the ghastly crushitude of the riffs. It’s on “The Voracious One” that the band’s longtime penchant for doom segments shift into a stoner-esque form, and it actually works. There’s a joyous swagger to the fat riffs and a strong Sabbath vibe, which when paired with Reifert’s retching and caterwauling, makes for a surprisingly entertaining treat. This stoner flavor reappears on the ridiculously overdone “Flesh Strewn Temple” and to a lesser extent on “Skin By Skin.” It’s an interesting addition to their tool kit and well used.

Other high points include “Knife Slice Axe Chop” which is as dumb and fun as death can get and features wonderfully creepy doom breakdowns (watch the embedded video alone and prepare to feel regret), and “Maggots in the Mirror” which strives to be even dumber and more extreme with hilarious results. My personal favorite is “Slaughterer of  Souls” due to its nonstop intensity and rampaging assault on all that is decent. There are no weak tracks and the 41 minutes blast by in a pulpy spray of guts and bodily fluid. One could argue the songs can bleed together into a bloody abomination, and there’s some truth to that on the first spin or two. With repeat listens, however, the twisted kinks in each song crawl out to bite. The production is perfect for what Autopsy does, with a loose, sloppy sound that reeks of 1988. Reifert’s vocals are the focus but the guitars have plenty of space to destroy and they have a great retro tone loaded with weight and power.

Though I’ve been listening to Autopsy since 1988, I don’t think I ever noticed how much Chris Reifert sounds like Animal from the Muppet Show. I guess that insurance commercial with Animal living in the attic has him in my head, and a lot of what Chris does here could fit in that ad. Of course, he takes things way farther than muppet noises, retching, barfing, and screaming in all manner of convulsive ways. He’s the undisputed star of the Autopsy show and this might be his most bombastic performance yet. Eric Cutler and Danny Coralles do their best to seize the spotlight from Chris and nearly do, layering the material with top-notch riffs and wild, rowdy solos from the Rick Rozz school of wild, rowdy soloing. Their doom riffs are absolutely massive and shake the molars, and their thrashy leads are vicious fun. This is a grizzled, seasoned crew having fun and going for it, and it’s hard to resist the rush of thrill killing that the music exudes.

Morbidity Triumphant is 100% classic Autopsy doing what they do best and it’s their best release since Macabre Eternal. It’s the kind of album you put on and thrash away to from start to finish and then start over. It’s dumb, disgusting, and unsavory and thus it’s a total triumph of brutality over sense and sensibility. You’ll be nauseated, but you’ll come back for more. Hail these legends of old school death and taste their rotten brain tomatoes ASAP.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Peaceville
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: September 30th, 2022

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