Drummer Chris Reifert launched his career with the legendary metal group Death two years before forming his own band, Autopsy, in 1987. While Death eventually spearheaded the deep-focus, technical death metal movement, Autopsy adhered more closely to the genre’s original vision, trampling listeners with songs that veered between syrup-trudging doom and artery-bursting speed.
All Tomorrow’s Funerals, the third release following a 15-year hiatus, features four new tunes and three old EPs: 1991′s acrid, sludgy Retribution For the Dead, 1992′s unhinged slaughterfest Fiend For Blood and 2010′s uninspired comeback effort The Tomb Within. Even for the previously uninitiated, the new songs are the standouts. The title track is a feast of jackhammer destruction enhanced with frenetic solos and evil monk chants, and a reinvention of the 1987 demo cut “Mauled to Death,” morphs between an angular proggy riff, teeth-gritting thrash and a funeral procession of harrowing, layered noise. Longtime fans may only want the new stuff, but it’s nice to know Autopsy are preserving the past to keep pure death metal in a state of eternal decomposition.