10 Jan 2022 - Daniel F.
Deathcore | Nuclear Blast | Release date: 14 Jan 2022
The biggest compliment that I can give the new Fit For An Autopsy album is that it sounds exactly how I expected (and wanted) it to. They are just one of those bands, a rare breed of deathcore outfit that go beyond simply relying on a cacophony of heavy breakdowns to build concise, curated soundscapes that linger and dwell in our psyche. I could count on one hand the list of bands that sound as well-rounded within the genre, and the New Jersey sextet would be scrambling for pole position on that list. 2019 saw them unleash the bone-shaking The Sea Of Tragic Beasts – the vinyl for which sits proudly and elegantly on my shelf – and was the perfect addition to an already prolific repertoire. 2022 sees them reload and set their sights set on exploding back into the limelight with their latest full length, Oh What The Future Holds.
Fit For An Autopsy waste little time convincing us that this is a record as bleak and prolific as those that came before it. The introduction-cum-title-track offers a deadly foreshadowing of the carnage ahead and right on cue, ”Pandora” takes centre stage and kicks things into first gear. First impressions confirm much of what we already knew about the band. It’s heavy but refined, delicately composed and bursting into life to offer maximum impact. Clearly then Fit For An Autopsy haven’t re-invented the wheel, but then nobody wanted them to. These first impressions become cemented as the album thunders through tracks like ”Far From Heaven” and ”In Shadows”.
”Two Towers” begins with a dreamy, Deftones-esq atmosphere – a sound that is very much in vogue – which offers a slight respite before diving back into driving riffs and blastbeats. Shoegaze vocals turn back into abrasive screams, and the overall tone reverts to a brooding darkness. It is one of the album’s highlights, showcasing Fit For An Autopsy’s ability to mix it up and craft songs with real integrity rather than the cookie-cutter tracks that deathcore can be so notoriously guilty of. Here is a band as confident as they are capable, composing a musical landscape that is tried and tested but ultimately potent.
The riffs continue to tumble in ”A Higher Level Of Hate”, right through to ”Conditional Healing” which is an absolute scorcher of a track. Leaning away from deathcore slightly and almost landing directly in prog death territory, Fit For Autopsy again show their flexibility and pull out all the stops in a vicious onslaught of extreme metal. This is contrasted completely against the closing track ”The Man That I Was Not”, which takes a much more patient approach. Clean vocals enter the spotlight and the instrumentation is much more refined. Although the track sporadically explodes into blistering brutality, it returns back to a more stripped back ambience and we see the album play out in ethereal noise.
The long and short of it is that Fit For An Autopsy are pretty damn good. They are true masters at their craft and Oh What The Future Holds is simply the latest in a long line of such examples. Don’t enter into this one hoping to hear the next evolution in deathcore because you won’t, but what you will discover is exactly what I did – the album that I expected and knocked my socks off even though I knew what was coming. And oh, did I mention that artwork? It’s absolutely stunning.