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Autopsy (1987)

When drummer Chris Reifert left the band Death early in the summer of 1987, he wasted very little time in getting a new project off the ground. Autopsy is the name of his new venture and this four-song demo tape shows them to be treading more or less the same ground as Death, except that Autopsy fall just a bit short of matching the sheer power of Chuck Schuldiner and co.

‘Human Genocide’ starts things off in brutal fashion, with Chris’ high-pitched growls proving to be a worthy asset to the band’s face-melting approach. ‘Embalmed’ is just as heavy as its predecessor, with some nifty lead-work from guitarist Eric Cutler and impressive drumming from Chris, while ‘Stillborn’ is just an all-out thrasher that will keep you on your toes trying to keep up with its intense pace.

But it’s not until the demo’s last track, ‘Mauled To Death’, that Autopsy prove that they can easily challenge Death in the heaviness sweepstakes, with Eric Cutler handling the vocal duties and providing brutal growls over some of the wickedest slow riffing you’ll ever hear. This track is just about the closest Autopsy will ever get to sounding like Death, but despite the obvious similarities, the song more than stands up on its own.

On the basis of this tape, San Francisco-based Autopsy should have no problems garnering a strong underground following; although a record deal may not be forthcoming just yet. With a bit more experience in the songwriting department and a few more original ideas, this band could indeed go somewhere.

Borivoj Krgin

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 28 (1988)

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