On The Great Collapse, New Jersey deathcore troupe Fit For An Autopsy get proper serious.
I’ll admit I had something of a soft spot for Fit For An Autopsy’s sophomore record Hellbound– it wasn’t a ground-breaking release by any stretch of the imagination, but their hefty bludgeon combined with the album’s frequent use of guest vocalists (including some of the heavyweights of the deathcore scene) ensured that I was thoroughly entertained. Over the course of the band’s last two releases- one full length and a split with Thy Art Is Murder and The Acacia Strain- I was pleased to see that the band were tentatively stretching out of their comfort zone and incorporating more progressive musicianship and sung vocals.
Although there is a less prominent use of clean singing, vocalist Joe Badolato does throw in some harsh yet restrained melodies over the hulking “Heads Will Hang” or the sludgy pulse of “Black Mammoth”. Whilst I would have liked to have seen him make more of a mark on the record (especially after his standout performance on the previous split release), his way with melancholic melodies provides contrast and relief from the oppressive bludgeon of the band’s dense, crushing riffs. The band’s penchant for monstrous slabs of dark barbarity are still present, most notably on album opener “Hydra”, which revels in a traditional deathcore style that is bolstered by a more mature songwriting style.
The band’s greater sense of dynamics showcases the band’s willingness to step out of the comfort zone that they’d established over the last three albums. The manner in which certain songs ebb and flow, such as “Empty Still”, lets the musicianship carry through before another gargantuan skull-splitting breakdown kicks in. Whilst the experimentation with light and dark certainly breaks up the lethargy of some of the mid-tempo tracks (which are plentiful), the somewhat repetitive nature of the material on display sometimes renders the band’s efforts to play with shades of light and dark a little bit monochromatic. When the band up the pace and break out of the monotony, such as on the frenetic riffing of “Iron Moon” or drummer Josean Orta’s flailing rhythms on “When The Bulbs Burn Out”, they’re at their most exhilarating- it’s just a shame these moments are fleeting.
There’s no doubting Fit For An Autopsy’s capability to produce thick, grating deathcore, but there needs to be a more confident approach with experimentation. A less cautious approach with vocal melodies, some more inventive guitar work and greater variety in tempos would really enhance the band’s work. There’s been comparisons between Fit For An Autopsy and Gojira, as though the band are deathcore’s answer to the French behemoths- but there needs to be more innovation and imagination before meeting those lofty standards.
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