"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Autopsy - "Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves" (CD)

Autopsy - "Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves" CD cover image

"Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves" track listing:

1. Savagery
2. King of Flesh Ripped
3. Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
4. The Howling Dead
5. After The Cutting
6. Forever Hungry
7. Teeth of The Shadow Horde
8. All Shall Bleed
9. Deep Crimson Dreaming
10. Parasitic Eye
11. Burial
12. Autopsy

Reviewed by on June 10, 2014

"One of the things that make's Autopsy's post-resurrection albums really stand out is that there is a huge old school vibe in all the instrumentation, but they have very modern productions that let all the sounds come across clearly."

Since Abscess's bloated corpse was left lying in a pool of scum in some disease-ridden Californian lake, successor Autopsy has been moving full steam ahead with no signs of slowing down. Without even stopping to have a proper funeral while the body of Abscess was still warm, Autopsy hit the recording studio and carried on, resulting in 2011's “Macabre Eternal.” Now we are in 2014 and since then two new full-lengths have been torn screaming from Autopsy's birth canal, the most recent of which is the disgusting(ly awesome) “Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves.”

For those not familiar with both bands: Autopsy is essentially the less dirty and punkish Abscess (or perhaps Abscess was the more dirty and punkish Autopsy?), but you can pretty much instantly recognize a Chris Reifert band on sound alone within the first minute of listening. Although somehow not lauded as highly as other monoliths of the genre, the vocals from both bands are pretty classic, and have a decent range switching between insane grunts and punk-influenced screams.

Combating one of the inherent problems of brutal death metal – it's lack of staying power over extended periods as the sounds all blur together - “Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves” features a surprising mix of tempos and stylistic choices. There's fast paced thrashing death, slower moments that drag out the growls, and even some old fashioned shredding guitar wankery for good measure. “Deep Crimson Dreaming” even breaks up the stretch with some atmospheric sounds and melodic strumming before heading back into total destruction mode.

It's a valiant effort, and leagues ahead of plenty of other bands, but all the same the album is a bit too long for its own good. Although cut down from the overly lengthy “Macabre Eternal” (which clocked in at more than an hour), “Tourniquets, Hacksaws, and Graves” is still longer than it needs to be at 50 minutes. The album feels like its run its course seven or eight tracks into the 12 track total.

One of the things that make's Autopsy's post-resurrection albums really stand out is that there is a huge old school vibe in all the instrumentation, but they have very modern productions that lets all the sounds come across clearly. That remains the case with this third release since switching gears from Abscess, and if you liked the previous two, this one will easily earn a spot in your collection as well.

Highs: Chris Reifert continues his string of high quality dirty death metal.

Lows: The album feels too long, as there's only so much you can do with this sound before it gets a little repetitive.

Bottom line: Autopsy hasn't shown any sign of slowing down since re-forming in 2011, and this is another solid slab of dirty, old school death metal.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)