After sixteen years of silence, Autopsy regained their corrupt crown of death metal in 2011 with ‘Macabre Eternal’ reaching many “top album” lists and rightly so. The pristine yet totally purge worthy death metal mixed mid-tempo anguish with doom riddled distress into a fine Bloody Mary of a cocktail. Fast forward two years and although the factors haven’t evolved much from before, the formula proves to be even more perfected on ‘The Headless Ritual’.

The title appears apt as the first couple of minutes into ‘Slaughter at Beast House’ decapitates you with a visceral riff attack, leaving your head rolling around in fear that it won’t get to hear the rest. The consistent variation of tempo continues the former doomy death hybrid and stops anyone from complaining about repetition; the sluggish, almost ballad mannerisms of ‘She Is Funeral’ are reminiscent to a zombie soundtrack and a definite stand out on the record, whilst ‘Mangled Far Below’ screams with crust-infected grooves.

Autopsy’s last attempt reeked with a horrifying atmosphere and ‘The Headless Ritual’ certainly doesn’t lose this charm, it actually further strengthens each song as its own. As always the Cutler/Reifert vocal team destroys any feeling of ease with rasps and growls most screamo kids would cry over attempting and although shorter than its predecessor, it’s enough to confirm that this vile corpse of an album is likely to resurrect itself in your collection for many years to come.

Review by Lily Randall

‘The Headless Ritual’ is out now on Peaceville.

You’ll like this if… you’re a dirty gore whore with an unfathomable need for amazing death metal.

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