Absolutely Essential Death Metal – 92%

What a treat this is – a new mini LP from one of the greatest, most legendary extreme metal bands that ever existed. When the Horrific Obsession 7″ came out I thought maybe it would be a one off but no, Autopsy is back together and recording a new full length album too.

The Tomb Within is a great little record. Five tracks, one of which is an old one – Human Genocide. While the aforementioned old track dates from 1987 (it was on Autopsy’s first demo from that year) and sounds like it is straight off of Severed Survival, the other four tracks really pick up where Acts Of The Unspeakable left off. Gone are the Shitfun/Abscess-era short bursts of shit-dripping gore/grind crossover and back come the four and five minute tracks, the piledriving thrash riffs of Cutler and Coralles and the singularly disgusting vocals of Reifert alone.

The record starts with the title track, beginning with squealing and feedbacking guitars for a few seconds before blasting into a brute of a song. Reifert really can’t do any wrong as he pummels his kit in his usual style – fast and loose but totally effective – and delivers his guttural vocals in a manner which takes me back to 1989. The track is trademark Autopsy – blisteringly fast, no blastbeats, and punctuated by lightning fast leads interchanged with Sabbath-style doom-outs which the band are so good at.

Track two – My Corpse Shall Rise – is both faster and more doomy if that’s possible; a gloomy beginning which builds up to a mayhemic middle passage which then subsides again to a grinding outro.

Third track Seven Skulls has great lyrics and again builds from an eerie opening passage to a blistering middle section.

Fourth is Human Genocide which, as mentioned above, is pure early Autopsy – fast and brutal. It’s a great track and a fine addition to the record.

The fifth and final track is Mutant Village and on this track Autopsy pay homage to the doom bands which influenced them so much through their career – Sabbath, St Vitus, Trouble, Candlemass etc. It is a 100% slow track and I think it closes the record very well.

The production on The Tomb Within overall is very good, although it gets a bit muddy at times, however, this suits the music perfectly and doesn’t detract from it. Reifert is on top form with his vocals and his drumming, though at times the snare sounds slightly too low in the mix (example: the slow break at about 2:05 on track one – Reifert plays a very slow tempo on the snare and ride cymbal and the ride pretty much cancels out the snare).

The guitar sound is great and the bass is nicely up in the mix. For a record which was recorded and mixed in five days this is really good.

Furthermore, the packaging and artwork is exceptional as well – Peaceville has done a very good job with this release, as has the band itself.

I can’t recommend this enough. Seek it out and prepare yourself for 2011 which is shaping up to be the year of Autopsy.

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