Yet Another Roundup: Autopsy, King Blues, Assaulter

28 Apr

Least scary death metal band photo ever - Autopsy back in the day.

Sorry for the radio silence – Monkey Defies Gravity has just become a dad again and there’s been little time for music or blogging betwixt the changing of the nappies and taming of bellowing babes in arms.

So at the risk of becoming somewhat stale in the format of my posts: behold, yet another bite-size round-up of what’s been piped into my lugholes lately. This time – Autopsy, The King Blues and Assaulter.

Autopsy - Mental Funeral

You don't want to wake up next to this. (Autopsy - Mental Funeral artwork)

Autopsy – Mental Funeral

I thought I would hate this.

I am largely ambivalent towards death metal.

I love vintage Slayer and am quite partial to early Celtic Frost and Blessed Are The Sick but that’s about yer lot. Everything else just leaves me colder than a witch’s tit.

Anyway, a confluence of events spurred me on to some overdue checkage.

  • Increasingly frequent citations of Autopsy as one of the seminal extreme metal bands
  • The recent 20-year anniversary of Mental Funeral
  • Imminence of new material after aeons of silence

Expecting nothing, I was rewarded with a fantastic album. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Maybe it’s the Slayer-esque atonal leads and the not-quite-death-metal vocals. Maybe it’s the changes of pace from a pummel to a doomy trundle.

Much as I love a good pummel, a doomy trundle is always welcome.

Just like Reign in Blood, it has fantastic atmosphere that’s missing from so much bog-standard modern death metal.

Only 20 years late on this one. That’s me, finger on the pulse of new heavy music.

The King Blues - Punk & Poetry

What a nice young man

The King Blues – Punk & Poetry

This one is totally random. Having walked past a poster for this on the London tube for weeks, it was on the front page of Spotify today.

Why not, thought I, let’s fire it up.

I’m stoked I did.

It’s not heavy – quite the opposite.

There’s a real lightness of touch to this blend of ska, pop-punk, hip-hop, grime, folk, pop, agit-prop politics that even has the odd dash of dubstep and drum n bass.

Like the Cat Empire before them, they handle the transitions between so many styles with ease.

Once I got over the grimey vocal style , initially a little too reminiscent of Plan B and Lethal Bizzle for these ears, it really grew on me.

There’s hints of classic Streets material in the story-telling, crossed with the anti-establishment politics (and sometimes the instrumentation) of the Levellers. They have a great sense of humour too – check Sex Education  for proof.

Yes, it’s a bit NME but hey, it’s fun.

Assaulter - Boundless

Straight up Aussie thrash

Assaulter – Boundless

I’m not the first to spot this by any means but there’s some classic metal touches to this blackened thrash album, think vintage Metallica, Maiden, Priest. I got quite excited.

Indeed the Asssaulter sound is built on traditional palm-muted thrash riffs that chug along contentedly some mid-paced, some fairly speedy.

Lead lines vary between simple but melodic and orthodox widdly.

The drums are solid if unspectacular with tidy fills and rolls.

Yet the overall effect is a little anonymous. The blackened vocals don’t help and add little to the sound.

Was it alright? Sure. Will I listen to it again? Meh.

Best track: 8 minute epic closer The Great Subterfuge, as it has long instrumental passages without that wheezy rasping crapping all over the bed.

8 Responses to “Yet Another Roundup: Autopsy, King Blues, Assaulter”

  1. Full Metal Attorney April 29, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    I’ve never checked out Autopsy. With all the fuss lately, I think I may have to. That Assaulter sounds OK (I’m actually listening right now). Pretty standard Teutonic style thrash (which usually sounds a little blackened), but that’s a good style of thrash to be in.

  2. Kuz April 29, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I was really interested in death and thrash in 1991 (Sepultura, the Big 4 just about still in their pomp, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel and more were all kicking arse then) but I never even heard of Autopsy that year, despite reading loads of magazines and scouring my local record shop. The power of the internet eh?

    Assaulter are fine but don’t really ring my bells. I don’t know much Teutonic thrash so I missed that connection, cheers for pointing it out.

  3. Full Metal Attorney April 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Kreator, Sodom, Destruction: the “big 3” of Teutonic thrash.

    I forgot to mention: congratulations on the addition to your family. I’m looking forward to a couple of them myself, and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for blogging when that happens.

    • Kuz April 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      Thanks and good luck with yours! I’ll check the big 3, any suggestions for good starting points? They all have a big back catalogue…

      • Full Metal Attorney April 30, 2011 at 7:19 am #

        I’m not particularly familiar with any of them. I did a post (here) on the subject a while ago, and my favorite of the group was Kreator’s Terrible Certainty. They seem to be the most blackened of the bunch. On the other hand, Metallattorney’s favorite band in the group is Sodom. They seem to be a bit punkier.

  4. hhbrady May 5, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Oh, my, do I know those three: feel free to laugh, but way back (ca. 1989 or so) I was in a band that played a ton of Sodom and Destruction songs. We were big into Kreator, too, but didn’t cover them.

    Sodom: start with Persecution Mania and Agent Orange; Kreator: Terrible Certainty and Extreme Aggression (although the latest, Hordes of Chaos is good: “War Curse” from that is killer).
    Destruction: Mad Butcher, Release from Agony, Cracked Brain (although Thrash Anthems is wicked cool, too– though it’s just updated recordings of older songs).

    If you like those, you might like Rage, too– more melodic and goofy, but fun. Start with Perfect Man.

  5. hhbrady May 5, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    I forgot arguably the fourth Teuton: Deathrow. 1988’s Deception Ignored is sweet technical thrash, like Forbidden but Very German. See:


  1. Death Metal Doesn’t Suck Shock: Acephalix, Vastum and Bones « Monkey Defies Gravity - August 6, 2011

    […] Mental Funeral was the icebreaker death metal and I needed to start getting along. It showed me death metal is not […]

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