If you’re going to say that you’re officially back, you’re going to need more than just one comeback record and an EP, no matter how good it all is. Well, Autopsy blew us off our feet with Macabre Eternal in 2011, and they’re saying that they’re officially back. Well, they released an album to get our attention, now they need something to show us that they really ARE back. Ladies and Gentleman, The Headless Ritual is proof enough that these motherfuckers are back and going at full force.
What The Headless Ritual has done for a lot of us is make us realize how overhyped Macabre Eternal was. I mean, it was a hell of a record, but now that we have The Headless Ritual enabling us to view Macabre Eternal in retrospect, it actually wasn’t anywhere near as amazing as we all thought it was! And that’s understandable because it’s Autopsy! One of the biggest and oldest death metal bands on the planet! But I may be wrong, because if this isn’t the case, then it’s just that The Headless Ritual is so damn good that it’s making Macabre Eternal feel less awesome. Which either way, this is what we’ve been hungry for; this is the Autopsy that we’ve all loved since 1989.
The vocals are pretty much the traditional old school death metal vocals. This is pretty much a randomized mash-up of screams, yells, really gritty mid-ranged yells, deep guttural growls, and who knows what the fuck else. This is why there are so many people that are mainly just into the classic shit; the vocals are a hell of a lot more interesting! Most death metal bands nowadays pick one or two vocal styles and just stick to that the whole time. Then Autopsy comes a long and reminds us that it’s much more fun and interesting to just do it all than just stick to what you’re best at. And although I fully understand that, there’s always the case in where you’re doing everything, but you’re not always particularly GOOD at it.
It might just be me, but most of the time, those hysterical grunts and gritty yells that the vocalist does are very hard to take seriously and don’t sound that good. That’s the issue I’ve always had with these guys, it’s the one vocal style that I don’t think he’s very good at, yet it’s always what he primarily does. Even on albums like Mental Funeral, it’s just a little too laughable for me. Then again, it could just be me not fully understanding the whole thing because I have the same issue with those ridiculous grindcore shrieks being used in brutal death music (i.e. Awaiting the Autopsy).
Like I said before, this is a very pure death metal record that sounds like it could’ve easily come from 1993 or something like that. The band doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it’s perfectly okay because these guys know how to play death metal more than 90% of all death metal bands out there. If you’re a fan of death metal in any sort, you NEED to pick this up because it will not let you down. The slow sludgy grooves of Flesh Turns to Dust will pull you down to the dirt while the blasting riffs of Arch Cadaver tear you to pieces. I would highly recommend this record and give it 17/20.