Fit For An Autopsy – ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’

By Dave Stewart

If you’ve ever listened to Fit For An Autopsy before, you know that they aren’t just your run of the mill heavy band. The passion they have for what they do surpasses love for music, using the platform that they have to draw listeners gazes to subjects that need attention in an attempt to create something positive from a world of negatives. There is seemingly nothing that they’re too afraid to touch on, and they drive their points home with intense, rich, and blazing post-deathcore.

Last release ‘The Great Collapse’ saw them tackle subjects from conservationism to the worldwide refugee problem. They continue to shine a light on important issues with brand new record ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’, this time shifting their focus to the human condition, mental health, and the current state of the world’s politics.

They waste no time getting right into the thick of things, immediately launching into the frantic riffage of the albums title track. The sinister guitar bends and piercing pick scrapes immediately thrust a sense of rawness directly into the mind, all pushed even further skyward by the crushing drum work of Josean Orta and the devilish vocals of front man Joe Badolato. The pace just keeps building with ‘No Man Is Without Fear’, hurtling straight into a thunderous polyrhythmic breakdown and developing into a furious, pummelling finale.

You’re probably already on the edge of your seat, and this is just two tracks in – by the time this record is done with you, you’ll either been in a trembling heap on the floor or surrounded by all of your broken possessions, smashed in an outburst of impassioned rage.

The aural punishment continues with the brooding ‘Mourn’ as it bombards the senses, continuously delivering blow after blow until it reaches a dramatic and slaughterous crescendo courtesy of the guitar work of Will Putney, Pat Sheridan, and Tim Howley. Lead single ‘Mirrors’ initially tricks you into thinking it’s going to be a mellow offering before violently darting down a more horrifying path full of blast beats, thick riffs and blood curdling screams. ‘Birds Of Prey’ is a heavily distorted fist-pumping anthem, ‘Shepherd’ is a death metal influenced dream, ‘Napalm Dreams’ is a soaring passion-filled epic – there is plenty to admire on display here. There’s a of diversity, but the heavy moments really ooze through the mix and take on a shape of their own, towering over you and staring into your soul.

This record excels when it’s at its angriest, and ‘Your Pain Is Mine’ is one such example. It doffs its cap to the deathcore days of old, whilst also managing to sound devastatingly modern. The classic melodic death metal riffs combined with a huge melodic chorus works like a dream, and makes the crushing closing moments even more destructive. Another shiny gem is ‘Unloved’ – a track that, when played live, is sure to birth some of the strongest head-banging and pit-worthy moments as it moodily stomps through almost three minutes of pure iniquity and aggression. This record is a great metal record, but it’s more than that. It’s also one of the hardest, most alarming, and calamitous records of the year.

When the guitarist in your band is one of the most sought after producers in the game, you’re pretty much guaranteed to end up with an incredible sounding record. Will Putney manages to combine unfathomable weight with a rabid rawness that, when blended together, creates a bite powerful enough to gnaw through anything you put in front of it. ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’ is the beast that’s in control of the jaw, and it doesn’t stop snapping until the very last note fades away. The whole record is rife with heavy hitters and sits proudly atop the bands discography as their most solid offering to date.

This is an incredibly dark record, but there are moments of serenity that occasionally creep through to allow you to catch your breath. It has all the devastation and brutality of a Thy Art Is Murder record, woven with the vast sonic landscapes of Gojira, ultimately creating an ominous yet alluring picture. The songwriting is a powerful force throughout the record, managing to be barbaric, beautiful, haunting or calming whenever it needs to be. Those traits all have their own spotlight to stand in when the record sees fit, and the reason that spotlight is so bright is all down to Putney’s incredible production skills. A sinister, venomous, and violent offering from one of deathcore’s modern day pioneers.

DAVE STEWART

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