Fit For An Autopsy, Aborted, Archspire, Dark Sermon, Alekhine's Gun

Fit For An Autopsy

Corrupt politicians, manipulative mainstream media, government surveillance, mass shootings, clean water shortages, religious warfare, aggressive agribusiness, climate change, GMOs and a whole host of mind-numbing problems certainly make it feel like humankind is "going to hell in a hand basket," as they say. There may be nothing that can be done about it at this point. But at least we have a killer soundtrack.

Fit For An Autopsy's Hellbound is the perfect score with which to watch the flames rise. Punishing, unrelenting and alternately both heavy and dissonant, the New Jersey metal band's first album for Good Fight/eOne conjures visions of Nero vigorously attacking his fiddle, even as Rome was engulfed in fire all around him. Esteemed English actor Michael Caine delivers perhaps the best line in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy: "Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Death metal often chooses to deal in devils, demons and horror-movie inspired gore. "Deathcore" detours into broken relationships and introspective issues, much like its scene cousins in Metalcore and alt-rock. Fit For An Autopsy blaze their own path, opting to address the dirty, gritty and grimy reality of modern day life. There's no fantasy, no plaintive odes to lost love. This music is hell. These songs are Hellbound.

Scene queens, careerist cartoons and poseur-iffic hacks best step aside when confronted with the self-assured, art-for-art's-sake vibe of Fit For An Autopsy. As MetalSucks observed early on: "The band's brutal, glowering take on [deathcore] reminded [us] of the squandered potential of the genre. Hardcore grooves and swagger, when incorporated correctly, blend quite well with death metal."

On Hellbound, Fit For An Autopsy expand upon their commanding approach to an often maligned subgenre by synthesizing the rhythmic experimentalism of Gojira, the aggressive post-Noisecore of Converge, the esoteric and meditative tribalism of Isis, a virulent dose of the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal (At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, early In Flames), the legendary progenitors of Floridian death metal (Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary) and the "deathcore" acts who offer actual proficiency in the genre (Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish, Whitechapel).

Each nuanced building block is meticulously assembled together to form a near-perfect modern metal masterpiece, all with the confident vibe of a group of people making the music they want to make for its own sake, trends and "hype" be damned.


There was justifiable reason to be excited about Fit For An Autopsy from the start. The rich pedigree of its core members foreshadowed the momentous music that was to come. Nate Johnson's stint fronting Through The Eyes Of The Dead resonated with many death metal diehards. Guitarist Will Putney is an accomplished metal producer, mixer, engineer and cowriter. Putney's fingerprints are all over currently relevant albums from Stray From The Path, Reign Supreme, Misery Signals, Vision of Disorder, Counterparts, For Today, Like Moths To Flames, Stray From The Path and more. Guitarist Patrick Sheridan is rightly well regarded for his work on the fretboard as well as with a tattoo machine. The rhythm section of bassist Shane Slade and Sick Drummer-approved Josean Orta is beyond formidable.

The earliest rumblings of Fit For An Autopsy emerged on a 2008 demo. The self-released Hell on Earth EP arrived the following year, eliciting interest from Guy Kozowyk, The Red Chord vocalist and Black Market Activities label honcho. Kozowyk released Fit For An Autopsy's devastating debut, The Process of Human Extermination, in 2011. Sputnik Music paid particular attention to Johnson's dominating presence. "The dude's a swamp creature," they wrote of his "absurd" (in a good way) delivery. "When you hear him scream, it's like, 'What the ---- was that?' You realize whatever it is would probably eat you if you ran into it in the woods."

The group's seething contempt for modern society is rivaled only by the sonic bombardment dropped upon the unsuspecting all over Hellbound, a record that is equal parts challenging and engaging. It's an album designed to make people feel uncomfortable, while at the same time, counter-intuitively soothed by its catharsis. Criminals, junkies and the systems that fail them; deadbeat parents; poisoned food; BS celebrities and false idols; they've all led humanity here. Hellbound draws a line in the sand. It's a declaration that even it's all going down the proverbial drain likeminded individuals can take some solace in the expression of shared rage.

Aborted is a Belgian death metal/deathgrind band that formed in Waregem, in 1995. The group comprises vocalist, founder, and only constant member since the band's inception, Sven de Caluwé, guitarists Danny Tunker and Mendel Bij De Leij, bassist J.B. Van Der Wal, and drummer Ken Bedene. The band members of Aborted are from Belgium, The Netherlands and the United States.[1] Aborted has released six studio albums, two EPs and one live performance video album.

Allmusic stated that Aborted "had grown into the role of key contributors to the death-grind genres"[2] and described the band's style as "unrestrained grindcore savagery and meticulously crafted death metal technicality"

For the recent successes of technical death outfit ARCHSPIRE to come into fruition, certain variables must align. Talent, drive, creativitiy, and absolute dedication are only a few characteristics one may notice about the group, and indeed many have experienced the bi-product of these characteristics:

A tight live performance, where impressive speeds come grinding to a halt, and in even less time twist and contort into complex passages rife with beautiful harmonies, juxtaposed against insidious melodies. An attention to songwriting, focusing not only on technicality, but originality as well, take this sub genre and put it on it's ear. And the combination of musical backgrounds, which is apparent in much of ARCHSPIRE'S music, showing itself through catchy rhythms, interesting riffs and arrangements, and progressive passages.

Pushing boundaries of speed and endurance set only by the genre's top artists, while remaining accessible and interesting is no small feat. These Canadians have proven themselves worthy of touring and playing with bands like Origin, Decapitated, Hate Eternal, Abysmal Dawn, Vomitory, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Aborted.

When all the elements required align in such a way that they form something original, and interesting, it becomes a catalyst for something new... and in the case of ARCHSPIRE, All has indeed, Aligned.

For fans of : Origin, Spawn of Possession, Obscura, and Immolation.

Dark Sermon

Formed in 2009, Dark Sermon arrives in the worldwide metal community determined to stand apart from the cookie-cutter garbage and trend-following cretins who have overcrowded the scene. They don't care about what's marketable or what sells. Dark Sermon has nothing less than total domination on their minds, armed with a new kind of heavy. The suffocating stomp of Behemoth, the brash experimentalism of Gojira and the all-out ferocity of American heroes like Job For A Cowboy and The Black Dahlia Murder all have a home in the Dark Sermon cookbook, which slices and dices its way through the most exciting elements of metal's subgenres with relentless aggression.

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