The Great Collapse is the fourth studio album to be released by Fit For an Autopsy. Fit For an Autopsy are an American deathcore band from Jersey City. The Great Collapse was released via Long Branch Records and eOne Music on the 17th of March. Fit For an Autopsy are renowned for their hard hitting, take no prisoners style of brutal deathcore. They play music with chugging riffs and crunching breakdowns with heavy, roared vocals.
The band currently consists of Joe Badolato on vocals who is the band’s 4th vocalist in as many albums. On guitars we have founding members Will Putney and Pat Sheridan. They are joined by Tim Howley. The drums are looked after by Josean Orta and the bass is covered by Peter Spinazola. Spinazola has only just joined the band though so the bass on The Great Collapse is mainly attributable to Shane Slade.
Fit For an Autopsy are a heavy band. They are very solid and it is fair to say that they are experts in the standard deathcore formula. What is great about them though is that they are also willing to try to push the boundaries of deathcore. They haven’t always succeeded in that but at least they try. An example of that is in 2015’s Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell with it’s guest vocalist, technical riffing and experimental song structures.
The Great Collapse continues the band’s ambitious plan to be more than just deathcore while staying true to deathcore. It’s not about changing their sound, it is about expanding deathcore. The Great Collapse manages to do that well. Probably more successfully than in their previous efforts. It also manages to stay very, very heavy. It is jam packed full of breakdowns and chugging riffs, of course, but there is also something more here. Something that raises them a notch or two higher than many others.
From these points alone, the album is a success. It s 9 tracks long which equates to 40 minutes of music and large parts of it are designed to destroy the muscles in your neck. Huge, descending breakdowns and riffs will pull the mosh pit into body breaking chaos. The perfect example of this smashes into you straight away with album opener Hydra. It is one of the strongest album openers I have heard in a while. It really is a strong statement of intent.
Hydra is a furious 4 minute blast. Starting with death metal vocals bellowed out over thundering drums and meaty bass notes. A simple line of “when you cut off the head” will have the crowd roaring the response “fucking two grow back”. This line also leads the song into a heavy breakdown which sees the guitars come in and play some crushing riffs. The verses are all drums, bass and vocals though. The guitars simply play some barely audible squeals and extended notes here. Iron Moon follows a similar style to Hydra but pulls in a neat little guitar solo. It also have a faster drum sound, coupled with the bass, that sounds masterful.
One of the things I like best about this album though is how poignant the lyrics are. They deal with the band’s views on today’s world and climate. Songs like When the Bulbs Burn Out are both brilliant and different. Starting with a haunting melody before a faded guitar line joins in, we get a spoken word start regarding the state of the climate, weather and oceans. It jumps into life using thrashy drums, a heavy bass and high pitched guitars over roughly sung vocals. We then get treated to heavy verses with a brilliant guitar riff. A powerful message delivered in a powerful song.
Black Mammoth deals with the troubles of Native American Indians and the battles for oil that have seen them displaced. The drumming is pounding and fast with oodles of guitar tapping. The song has a feel of a band that are peaking. The chorus is seriously Gojira like in it’s music and vocal style. It sounds epic and brilliant. It could also be seen as Gojira like in it’s message.
There is more of this Gojira esque groove and bass lead riffage too. Too Late has the same feel in the intro. The deep sounding drums over crunchy bass sound great in contrast to the higher guitars. Obviously vocally they are heavier. Too Late also brings a huge breakdown. It isn’t all typical though as we are lead into a cool instrumental section where the drums play at place over slow, drawn out guitar lines. Spiral has heavy verses the fade into quieter melodic sections before picking up for another heavy verse. That is a neat idea that works well.
Terraform is packed full of great guitar leads, heavy drums and brutal vocals. It comes into it’s own with an excellent solo near the end that builds into the heaviest vocal section on the album. All backed by thumping bass and crashing drums. Despite all this good metal, these aren’t even the best songs on the album. That is awarded to Empty Still and Heads Will Hang. Empty Still again shows this band’s progression on The Great Collapse. It is a slow, brooding and melodic track that is jam packed full of anger and emotion. The growled vocals over gentler music sounds perfect and it is brilliantly intersected by faster, heavier sections with rhythmic drumming patterns.
Then there is the best song on the album. Heads Will Hang. Starting off, if I didn’t already know, I could easily be persuaded that the intro is Gojira. It is slamming, and groovy and oozing talent. Heads Will Hang is written brilliantly. It tells the story of a displaced refugee, from their perspective making it a desperately powerful song. It has a high toned chorus that is excellent and heavy groove like riffs through the verses. The verses are backed by brutal vocals. The song turns into a melodic, almost melancholy section with clean singing before ending with a ferociously slow and heavy breakdown.
It’s a special song, on a very solid album. Fit For an Autopsy are rightly making waves in the deathcore genre but this transcends the rigid rules of just one musical type. The Great Collapse is a very strong metal album, whatever genre you listen to. Fit For an Autopsy may well be the leading light the deathcore genre is in need of to drag some of the other bands into a new future. Don’t get me wrong, as a genre, it isn’t overly stale. There are some good bands releasing some good music.
Fit For an Autopsy have just released something that bypasses them all though in The Great Collapse. They have just raised the bar dramatically.
Crunching bass and pounding drums with breakdown’s galore and roared vocals mean they have ticked all the deathcore boxes. Add to that some Gojira like groove, powerful lyrics, small moments of clean singing, a few neat solos and melodic instrumentals and this is a band that may have just torn down the walls keeping them known as a one genre band. The production is brilliant and the sound on the drums and bass, in particular is excellent. Interestingly, one of the most sought after producers in death metal is Will Putney who just happened to mix this, oh, and is their guitarist.
I can’t wait to see where they go next.
The Great Collapse is out now at all the usual record stores including iTunes and Amazon. Be sure to check out Fit For an Autopsy on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with news and them and future releases or tours.
The Great Collapse