“Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!” That would be the best way to start and finish this review. A visceral reaction from the deepest realms of my innards! But, as the standard commands, I’m going to write a more serious one!
The merciless ear-splitting begins with four killer classics (“Severed Survival,” “Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay,” “Disembowel,” and “Ridden with Disease”), which sounds a bit like a horde of zombies violently lashing at and gnawing on human flesh and bones. So, it is Autopsy’s debut album “Severed Survival” and one from “Mental Funeral” that’s responsible for this initial barbarous assault, and all I can say is, “this is the shit I’m talking about!!”
Survival through this first wave is not guaranteed though. If you do happen to be one of the few who endure, you are certainly worthy of a chance to surf the incoming tidal wave, which has more of a Death/Doom aesthetic, focusing on more songs from “Mental Funeral” (which happens to be my favourite Autopsy record, with “Headless Ritual” a close second). I mean “In the Grip of Winter,” “Fleshcrawl” and “Torn from the Womb”? Come on! One section of this recorded live experience that leaves you seemingly without any hope of living a normal life, now that so many chunks of flesh have been torn from from your body! It’s not a pretty sight… or smell. But it sounds delicious! In fact, up to this point, every song has been a choice cut perfectly suited to my ravenous tastes.
The third assault comes with “Embalmed,” “Gasping for Air,” “Voices” and “Maggots in the Mirror.” The first two coming from “Severed Survival,” the third from the infamous “Acts of the Unspeakable,” and the last is a new track which Reifert, Coralles and team, have gifted us with. After this freak show, the guys could have played a New Kids on the Block cover and it would have been great!
And still the waves keep rolling in, so I’ll cut to the chase. The thirteenth track is a Death/Doom song called “Burial,” from 2014’s “Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves,” which has a bit of a caveman-like riff at the beginning. The next batch, once again come from “Severed Survival”: “Critical Madness,” “Service for a Vacant Coffin,” “Pagan Saviour” and “Charred Remains,” which could make a pack of zombies mosh regardless of how many limbs would be flying everywhere. Finally, Autopsy gives us “Fuck You!”, a Bloodbath cover. I would have preferred an Autopsy track from something like “Mental Funeral,” but that’s ok.
This beauty was recorded at Reggie’s Rock Club on March 7th, 2020, and it sounds totally honest and organic. Nothing bad about that at all, as it sounds big and heavy, not overproduced or needlessly fixed up. High points go to the guitar sound, the guttural voice of Chris Reifert, and the setlist, of course. As a conclusion I have to say that this live album is a must for any fan of the guys, which I very much am. So… I bought the vinyl version.
Rating – 5/5