Trivium & Arch Enemy
While She Sleeps, Fit For An Autopsy
124 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
Doors 5:30 PM / Show 6:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Inspiration completes a circle throughout time. When the new generation understands the traditions of the forefathers, it can properly ascend. However, this ritual doesn’t happen overnight. Time, patience, and endless work remain prerequisites—especially in music. Trivium—Matt Heafy [vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar] and Paolo Gregoletto [bass]—actually began building the blueprint for their seventh full-length album, Silence in the Snow [Roadrunner Records], back in 2007. They spent the next eight years diligently progressing and evolving, eventually becoming equipped with the wisdom to fully architect this body of work in 2015.
The genesis of the record’s title track dates back to a 2007 run supporting Heaven and Hell in Japan, marking the first step of this journey. “When I watched them live, it was something that really spoke to me, especially the song ‘Heaven and Hell’,” recalls Matt. “I’d never heard metal summarized so well like that. Afterwards, I came up with ‘Silence in the Snow.’ We loved the song, but it just didn’t fit with the music we were making at the time. The reason was, perhaps, we weren’t ready for it. We foreshadowed our destiny back then, and we’ve finally grown into the song. It required massive musical growth, and we’re ready now.”
“Every time we would do a record, someone would bring up ‘Silence in the Snow,” continues Paolo. “It was in the back of our minds, but it wasn’t the right time. It came out of that moment, seeing a classic band feel so modern and relevant with real passion. It fit with where we wanted to go today. We revisited the song, and it was the moment we got the clear cut vision for this album. It corralled all of our ideas together and sent us on the path. We wanted to hone in on making big metal anthems. Each track is distinct and matters with real dynamics. It’s everything we wanted to do.”
In order to achieve this goal, Trivium once again challenged themselves. They researched the bands who inspired their influences—Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth and Slayer —and immersed themselves in the work of Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Rainbow.
“We definitely looked back to a lot of classic records and used them for inspiration,” adds Paolo. “We knew we had to step up our game in the songwriting. We didn’t want to simply write music, but put together a cohesive collection from start-to-finish. That’s the real magic of those albums.”
Simultaneously, after an introduction by M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold, Matt began taking vocal lessons regularly with renowned coach Ron Anderson. The frontman expanded his already rigorous schedule with intense Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training as well as guitar lessons with everything fueling this creative evolution. In order to capture the desired sound, they enlisted Michael “Elvis” Baskette [Slash, Alter Bridge] for production and Mat Madiro for drums and hit the studio in early 2015.
“Being a metal head with a great sense of songwriting and production, Elvis was the perfect fit,” says Matt. “We’ve always had a balance of melody and technicality. He understood that and fostered its growth.”
Sonically, the band also broke the mold. Rather, than mixing extremely loud, they nodded to the sonic quality of records such as Back In Black where the mix is quieter. When you turn it up, it doesn’t become distorted. Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, Gojira] got behind the board and helped them realize this.
“We wanted to make sure it wasn’t too loud and crushed like many modern records are,” Paolo goes on. “It had to be crystal clear and preserve the layers. That was the big thing we picked up from those classics. They sound so pristine. Making it so bold and big, the songs come across how they’re meant to, and you want to turn it up.”
Following the cinematic, orchestral opener “Snøfall” recorded by legendary Emperor visionary Ishahn, “Silence in the Snow” introduces the album with succinct searing guitar gallop and a sweeping refrain that’s equally engaging and entrancing.
“It’s a rally for positivity,” exclaims Matt. “It’s a battle cry. The lyrics didn’t change much since 2007, and this kicked everything off.”
At the same time, the first single “Until The World Goes Cold” begins with an ominous intro before adopting a hammering groove that subsides during the arena-size chorus.
“It’s about the sacrifice we make,” admits Matt. “Being in a band isn’t just about working at your craft and attempting to be the best you can be musically. At times, you have to be away from your loved ones, comforts, and the things that essentially make you who you are. When you’re striving for that dream, you can forget what you’re searching for and start to give up. You have to realign and continue fighting for what you love and believe in.”
“We wanted a song that was heavy at a slower pace,” says Paolo. “It sounds even bigger that way. It has a really strong theme.”
Meanwhile, “Pull Me From The Void” delivers a dose of vibrant vitriol through a twisting lead and expansive chant. “You should reach for impossible dreams and put everything into something you love,” Matt exclaims. “If you don’t, what’s the point? I got inspired to do this at 12-years-old when I saw Metallica’s Live Shit: Binge & Purge. I wanted to reach that level, and I’m not shying away from being honest about that.”
“Blind Leading The Blind” pairs a lyrical solo with a slamming crescendo before turning on the harmonious declaration, “Save yourself.”
“Sometimes, it seems like we keep perpetuating the ugliness that we have towards one another,” he says. “I’m always hoping for a positive outcome. I’m using the song as a call-to-action in order for people to question the world around them, question the way things are, question who they treat others, and not just be content to live in the norm and do as they’re told or expected. There are better ways to live life.”
Trivium laid the foundation to reach this point with 2005’s Ascendancy. Eventually, that seminal album would move over 500,000 copies worldwide. Throughout The Crusade  and Shogun , they would play alongside everybody from Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden and captivate crowds at Download Festival, OZZfest, and more. 2011’s In Waves marked their highest chart entry on the Billboard Top 200, landing at #13, hitting #1 on Hard Rock chart, and selling 22,000 units first-week. Vengeance Falls would also go Top 15 in 2013 as the group went on to play the main stage at 2014’s Mayhem Festival alongside Avenged Sevenfold and Korn. 2015 sees them co-headline with Tremonti, headline Bloodstock in Europe, and perform on the main stage at KNOTFEST.
In the end, Trivium arrive with an album that has a power to carry on that cycle of inspiration.
“Our band is about progression,” concludes Paolo. “It’s never been about a checklist to make a quintessential Trivium record. We’ve been talking about making this album for a while. It will lead us on to other things.”
“On a surface level, I hope fans can have a good time listening to this,” Matt leaves off. “For those who dig deeper, I hope they find solace in the music and they can be inspired to do something from the lyric. I said everything I wanted to say here. It’s all on the album.” — Rick Florino, July 2015
Time passes, the world changes, but some things remain constant and unassailable. Heavy metal has endured for more than four decades because its spirit is eternal, and few bands embody the intensity, integrity and lofty artistic ambitions of the genre with more dazzling aplomb than Arch Enemy. Formed in Sweden in the mid-90s by former Carcass/Carnage guitarist Michael Amott, this most explosive and proficient of modern metal bands have spent the last 20 years propagating an unerring creed of technical excellence, songwriting genius and thunderous, irresistible live performance, accruing a huge global fan base along the way. And now, in 2017, Arch Enemy are ready to rise again and climb ever further up the ladder toward pure metal supremacy.
“The band's core musical philosophy hasn't changed much since I started the band,” says Amott. “It's still about creating intense heavy metal with extreme vocals and a lot of melody in the guitars. We've always loved writing and meticulously crafting the best songs possible, that's the main motivation for us.”
When Arch Enemy released their debut album Black Earth in 1996, death metal was stagnating and in desperate need of a kick up the ass. Amott’s blueprint for the purest of metal strains proved an instant underground hit, both in Europe and Japan, and almost single-handedly resurrected death metal as a viable art form with mainstream potential. Signed to Century Media Records for 1998’s sophomore effort Stigmata, Arch Enemy marched purposefully towards a new millennium with a rapidly growing reputation. 1999’s Burning Bridges added to the band’s momentum, their razor-sharp blend of brutality and epic melody becoming more refined with each creative step. But it was in 2001, when original vocalist Johan Liiva stood aside and mercurial frontwoman Angela Gossow stepped in, that Arch Enemy truly took off.
Released in 2001 in Japan and nearly a year later in Europe, Wages Of Sin showcased a revitalised line-up and newfound gift for immortal anthems, Gossow’s feral roar adding many layers of charisma and power to Arch Enemy’s already monstrous sound. Swiftly dedicating themselves to a relentless touring schedule, the band’s upward trajectory continued throughout the first decade of the 21st century, with each successive album enhancing the band’s reputation and bringing legions of new fans to this resolute heavy metal campaign. Albums like 2003’s vicious Anthems Of Rebellion and 2011’s pitch-black and savage Khaos Legions ensured that Amott and his loyal henchmen – Gossow, drummer Daniel Erlandsson, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo and Michael’s guitarist sibling Christopher - remained firmly at the top of the extreme metal tree: respected veterans at the height of their powers.
“Surviving and thriving in the metal scene is not always easy,” Amott admits. “ Contrary to what I've seen a lot of people say, I feel the scene is actually quite trend driven and it's impossible to be at the peak of your popularity all the time. In the past two decades we've seen a lot of trends and bands come and go. What I've always believed to be important is to stay true to yourself and the reasons why you started. Why you love music must always be at the forefront. I'm pretty good at keeping the 15-year-old Michael Amott alive in my heart!”
Always focused but impervious to other’s rules and expectations, Arch Enemy evolved once more in 2015 following the departure of Angela Gossow (now the band’s manager). Replacing one of the most iconic vocalists of the modern age was never going to be easy, but in the shape of former The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz, Arch Enemy found the perfect candidate. Unveiled on the ferocious, anthem-laden triumph of 2014’s War Eternal, Alissa’s powerful identity and extraordinary vocal talents proved a natural and instantly welcomed fit. Further extensive touring cemented the new line-up’s thrilling efficacy, before one final line-up change – the arrival of legendary guitarist Jeff Loomis, formerly of Nevermore – completed the musical puzzle that Amott had been tinkering with for the best part of 20 years.
“Switching singers in 2014 was a big change of course,” Amott agrees. “Alissa brings a lot the band as a singer and a very visually strong performer but also she writes great lyrics and vocal patterns that are very different to mine, which makes for more variation in the Arch Enemy sound. The twin-guitar attack has always been a big part of our sound and now we have Jeff Loomis who's played some face-melting leads on the new album!”
Recorded in 2017, the tenth Arch Enemy album will be unleashed later in 2017 and promises to be the ultimate statement of heavy metal supremacy from a band that are still growing in stature as the years fall away. Will To Power will be the first album the band have recorded with their current line-up and as Michael Amott explains, diehard fans will be both thrilled to hear their favourite band on top form and somewhat surprised by their latest creative explorations.
“The goal is always to raise the bar yet again and create an epic masterpiece!” he laughs. “I think the album has a great balance between traditional Arch Enemy and some new influences that come through here and there. The most surprising thing on this album is that we've written our first ever ballad. It's still a very metal song, but there's no way around the fact that it is a ballad and that might be quite controversial for a band like us, I guess. I'm excited to hear what our fans will think of that one, but I do feel that we can afford to spread our wings a bit on our tenth studio album!”
Once Will To Power hits the streets, Arch Enemy will do what they do best, hitting the road and taking their latest batch of heroic metal anthems to the people. Achieving longevity is the toughest challenge that faces any band, but Arch Enemy have long since established themselves as a permanent fixture on the global metal sceneand as standard bearers for upholding and celebrating of the heavy metal code. Right now, in 2017, no other band embodies the spirit of the genre with such flair and euphoric zeal. Long may their steel spirit prevail.
“It's always been about creating the best songs we can make and whatever success we've had is the direct result of the music speaking to people and our relentless worldwide touring,” Michael grins. “We are happy with the fact that the band has had growth spurt these last couple of years and it's exciting to put on a bigger and more complete live show for our fans. We obviously hope our fans will enjoy Will To Power and we're looking forward to getting back out there and performing live again, with a whole bunch of killer new tunes up our sleeve!”
Formed by guitarist Michael Amott after his departure from the now legendary Carcass, ARCH ENEMY first garnered praise with the metal milestones Black Earth (1997), Stigmata (1998) and Burning Bridges (1999). These albums were propelled by flawlessly technical dual guitars and a previously unheard of mixture of melody and aggression, which helped them to quickly solidify their reputation as one of the genre's elite.
However, ARCH ENEMY really began to develop their true potential once outstanding new vocalist Angela Gossow joined the fold on 2001/2002's critically acclaimed Wages of Sin album (produced by Fredrik Nordström and mixed by Andy Sneap), marking the first time a band of this calibre and ferocity was fronted by a woman. The album was showered with universal praise, from front cover press in worldwide metal magazines to national daily newspapers alike. Naturally, Wages Of Sin proudly claimed a position in all the end-of-the-year "Best Of..." lists, whilst the metal underground had found a new band to champion, and one that would soon show on the live stage that it had even more to offer with Angela bringing a hitherto unseen level of growling and glamour to extreme metal.
It began with a sold-out UK-tour with Opeth and festival appearances across Europe. They then headed over to North America for a 6 week tour supporting Nile, followed 2 months later by another tour in the US, this time headlining with amongst others God Forbid supporting. By the end of 2002, ARCH ENEMY were back in Europe playing their first headlining club shows in several countries before heading back to Japan to take a major slot at the Beast Feast festival with Slayer and Motorhead. On the way back from Japan they briefly stopped on US soil for a number of West Coast headline shows before Christmas, and then took to the road once again for their debut headline shows in Scandinavia at the end of January 2003.
The band's 2003 album, Anthems of Rebellion, was immediately hailed as a metal masterpiece. Produced and mixed by Andy Sneap, the record proved to be a landmark release for Century Media, as it delivered the label its then-highest first-week U.S. SoundScan sales ever, on the way to becoming one of its 10 best-selling albums of all time. Worldwide press raves continued to pour in - Anthems for example scored an unprecedented 5/5 in both Alternative Press and Kerrang!, Rock Hard Germany made it their "album of the month", and Metal Hammer Germany stated it to be „melodic, grasping, delicately built but nevertheless a massive hit in your face."
On the back of such a great response the band headed back out on the road and completed high-profile U.S. tours over the next year with Slayer, Hatebreed, Cradle Of Filth and Iron Maiden, a European Tour with Nevermore, a 2nd European headline tour as well as playing huge European festivals like Download, Rock Hard, Fields Of Rock, Graspop and Tuska, among others.
Late in 2004 ARCH ENEMY returned with the "Dead Eyes See No Future EP" - more than 30 minutes of highest quality metal, including exclusive live tracks recorded in Paris, three fantastic cover songs by Megadeth, Manowar and Carcass, as well as an enhanced version of their amazing "We Will Rise" video clip.
Now in 2005 we have Doomsday Machine and ARCH ENEMY have delivered without doubt the album of their career and are about to redefine the genre that they helped to create.
Founding guitarist and songwriter Michael Amott describes his thoughts on the group's highly anticipated new album: "I think all great metal needs that killer mix of classic riffs and ripping solos, something that has been a bit of a dying art recently. We are doing our best to recreate that mix on this new album, and one thing I can guarantee is that there will be tons of guitar for fans to headbang to. All in all, I am really happy with the songs and I believe we have found the right balance of melody and brutality - the Arch Enemy trademark!"
The album artwork was created by German multimedia artist Joachim Luetke (Dimmu Borgir, Kreator). Michael Amott comments: "We are all extremely pleased with the artwork for the new album! I had a few ideas initially that I discussed with Joachim on the phone, and when he started sending over images we were seriously blown away -- when you work with creative people of this calibre you just let them do what they do, so we just let him get on with it really! He's a very productive guy, very sharp. He expanded on the Doomsday Machine concept and took it to some really interesting (albeit very dark!) places. It's one of those great situations when the artwork totally works with the music."
While She Sleeps
While She Sleeps have chosen a fitting way to celebrate their tenth anniversary as a band – by becoming totally independent. It's a bold, impressive and powerful move that both reflects the decade gone by and hints at what the future has to offer. More than that, it demonstrates that age-old cliché is still true today – if you want something done right, do it yourself. Not only did they self fund their new album ‘You Are We’ with the help of their fans through a PledgeMusic campaign, but the band converted an empty warehouse in the heart of their native Sheffield into their own multi-purpose studio. It’s not the first time the band have had their own space – 2010’s debut EP ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ was recorded at a home studio called The Barn – but with this new space, which was built with the band’s own money, they’ve taken things to the next level.
“There’s always been a very DIY aspect to this band,” explains vocalist Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor, “so going it alone a bit more now just reiterates that to everyone. The Barn was a very important place for us – it’s where we grew as friends and it was where we hung out and could be creative – so the idea with this new space is that it gives us a lot more creative space. There’s a studio and live room, and we have space now to achieve what we want to achieve as a band. This place is going to house us for a good few years.” “We’ve all been skint for a while because of this place,” chuckles guitarist Sean Long, “but we’re hoping that it comes into its own. It’s already becoming a space for other bands, too. They can use it as a pre-production space or store their gear here, and it’s constantly busy with people coming here and working. It’s a nice positive space where we can all get creative and be the band we want to be.”
It’s also a place where the band – completed by guitarist/vocalist Mat Welsh, bassist Aaran McKenzie and drummer Adam Savage – aim to break down the barrier even more between themselves and their fan base. As part of the new record’s PledgeMusic campaign, fans were able to head to the studio and take part in the music video for ‘Hurricane’. “That was absolutely crazy,” beams Taylor. “I’m still aching from that! But the special thing is that every kid who came down for the video shoot actually helped make the album happen. And to that extent they made this warehouse capable of living.” “Now more than ever,” adds Long, “our fans know that it’s them making all of this possible for us. The divide between artist and fan is ridiculous, because there are no fans without the artist and there’s no artist without the fans. They go hand in hand together as one absolute thing, and I really like that we can see that in play with what we’ve been doing. It’s very reassuring to see that support right in front of us.”
That’s all the more crucial because of the experiences While She Sleeps have had with the music industry in their decade of existence, not least with previously being on a major label. They’re quick to point out that it’s not been all bad, but that it’s not been all good either, and that it’s their fans who have propelled them through both the good times and the bad. The same is true for their own personal struggles, especially when Taylor had to have surgery on his voice midway through making ‘Brainwashed’. Lesser bands might have given up the fight, but While She Sleeps pushed on through, encouraged by the loyalty, love and devotion of their fans. As much as that’s been made visible thanks to the new warehouse space, it’s also audible on the band’s new record. Made with Carl Bown, who also produced ‘Brainwashed’, its songs are full of as much force, focus and determination as ever. The likes of ‘Hurricane’ and first single ‘Civil Isolation’ continue the band’s trajectory as one of the most inspiring, riotous and important voices in British music today, demonstrating both their continued musical evolution and their incisive social conscience. Yet while these are brutal anthems that paint a vivid picture of a post-Brexit Britain, they stand as both the most universal and most personal songs of the band’s career.
“I feel like these are some of the most powerful and relatable songs that we’ve ever written,” says Taylor. “These songs look at the world as a whole, but it’s also very much about us. We’ve all been through a few ups and downs over the past few years, and I think it’s important for us to express that, because our music is our healing and our therapy. There’s a lot of heartfelt stuff in there from our own personal experiences, but there’s also much more of a global view, too.” “We’re never not going to be singing about worldly issues and politics,” says Long, “because that’s what we do without even trying. But, as Loz says, on this album it’s all housed within very personal ways of dealing with those things. We’re not just screaming about all the problems in the world, we’re screaming about how we feel about those things. I’ve never been more connected to moments in the studio when I’m writing music than I have with this record.”
This album does more than bridge the divide between past and present. It establishes who While She Sleeps really are in unfiltered, grotesque and beautiful glory. It sets them up as their own driving force, as a band who operate on their own terms and conditions and write music the exact same way. It’s a record not just made in spite of the problems and pressures they’ve faced in the past, but one created out of them and brimming with the passion that has always propelled the band and clearly continues to do so a decade on.
“The main thing with While She Sleeps,” says Taylor, “is that we’re digging our own path and the longer we keep working at it, the more people will realise we’re not going anywhere. We’re just going to keep on doing our own thing. And if we can explore new sounds and styles and still sound like us; if we can progress but still hold onto the While She Sleeps sound, then that’s great.” “My mum even likes it,” says Long, laughing, “so I’m very happy.”
Fit For An Autopsy
It seems there’s a new catastrophe hitting the headlines everyday, from corrupt politicians and crooked business people, to criminal mischief and the oppressive renegades within the ranks of those entrusted to protect the people from crime; extreme divides between rich and poor, ideological battles, shrinking resources, the constant threat of war, terror, famine, disease. The problems of the world are every bit as grim, perhaps more so, than during the Cold War, when protest, counterculture, and music from punk to thrash helped give voice to the voiceless.
The crushing music of Fit For An Autopsy is for any fan of extreme metal, as it’s devoid of preachy politics or grandstanding soapboxing, but its sound and fury is absolutely unflinching in purpose. The band expertly blends excessive-force fueled death metal with atmospheric groove and impassioned personal diatribes, reflecting back the dark state of current events. Their fourth album, The Great Collapse, doesn’t waste time with fantasy bullshit or cliché gore horror. Fit For An Autopsy are metal guys, to be certain, but they grew up in the hardcore scene. They embrace the responsibility to put as much devoted purpose into their lyrics and message as they do into their dense, heady, songs, forging a magnificently powerful new post-deathcore.
“When I write a song, I’m trying to feel emotionally connected to it. I really don’t like saying things that don’t matter over music that I want to matter,” says Will Putney, guitarist, principal songwriter and cofounder. “We’ve always addressed serious topics going back to our first album. We aren’t a politically charged band up on a podium yelling at people – anybody can relate to the aggression, anger, frustration, and sadness often communicated in our music. But we absolutely raise important questions in the lyrics. Those themes are there to discover.”
Putney’s fellow guitarist/cofounder, Patrick Sheridan, strongly agrees. He emphasizes that while the music of Fit For An Autopsy may evolve it will always be aggressive and will always have purpose. “We think it's important to carry that torch. Somebody's got to say something about the shit that's going on. If you're not using your music, which is a great platform, for something meaningful that you care about on some level, then you're kind of wasting it.”
The six-men of the New Jersey based group - which includes vocalist Joe Badolato, bassist Peter Spinazola, third guitarist Tim Howley, and drummer Josean Orta - put maximum intentionality into everything they do. They are constantly challenging themselves as musicians, adding to the band’s overall creative arsenal, connecting with audiences around the world, and supporting one another in the band as individual people.
Fit For An Autopsy first summoned one of the most crushing takes on the then-burgeoning deathcore genre with their 2008 demo and the following year’s self-released Hell on Earth EP, which led to a deal with The Red Chord vocalist Guy Kozowyk’s Black Market Activities label.
The Process of Human Extermination earned them a place among the genre’s giants, cementing them as energizing leaders rather than stale followers. As MetalSucks observed: “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.” Fit For An Autopsy’s determined drive, work ethic, and devilishly unmistakable talent next elicited the attention of Good Fight/eOne, the group’s home since their sophomore album.
On Hellbound, Fit For An Autopsy expanded their commanding approach to death metal with hints of metalcore by absorbing increasingly diverse elements, from the rhythmic experimentalism of Gojira to the aggressive post-Noisecore of Converge, with a dose of the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal, and a touch of groove unique to the New Jersey six-piece.
The group toured with The Acacia Strain and Within The Ruins on the No Way Out Tour, followed by Hate Across America with Thy Art Is Murder. In 2014, they hit the road with Chimaira, Iwrestledabearonce, and Oceano; with Whitechapel, DevilDriver, Carnifex, and Revocation; with Crowbar; and with Suicide Silence and Thy Art Is Murder. Toward the end of the excitingly productive Hellbound cycle, original frontman Nate Johnson split from the band.
The band’s third album served as the recorded introduction of powerhouse vocalist Badolato, whose impressive range (from guttural growls to pitch screaming and beyond) helped destroy all remaining self-imposed boundaries. It’s something the group’s instrumental members had yearned to do as even as they prepared the material prior to enlisting their new singer.
Absolute Hope Absolute Hell cracked the Top 20 on the Hard Rock Albums chart and hit #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. As Putney often noted in interviews, the record stood defiantly apart from those that offered little more than thirty minutes of blast beats and breakdowns.
Sure, that kind of nonstop pummeling has its place, but Fit For An Autopsy concentrated their focus less on crazy tempo changes and more on atmosphere and vibe, keeping one foot in the crushingly heavy while drawing more deeply from traditional metal influences, post-rock, and esoteric nuance. In 2015, the same year as Metal Injection and other tastemakers hailed the group’s progression, Fit For An Autopsy joined the Stronger Than Faith Tour with Suicide Silence, Emmure, and Within The Ruins, followed by a co-headlining tour with Aborted, a trek with Old Wounds, and the Tune Low Die Slow Tour with Acacia Strain and Counterparts.
“Being out there touring, I can say that our fans have been very accepting of each change and progression,” Sheridan notes proudly. “I’m very grateful, as oftentimes bands are scrutinized heavily as they evolve. We definitely took a step in a direction that people were stoked about.”
Putney points to Absolute Hope Absolute Hell as a definitive moment in the band’s career when they truly came into their own. “I like the earlier records a lot but we were definitely lumped in with a lot of similar-sounding bands at the time. I was happy that we were able carve our own path a little bit more on the last album, which we carried into this new album.”
Between Absolute Hope Absolute Hell and The Great Collapse, the group’s members were able to broaden their creative horizons even further with what became known as The Depression Sessions, a uniquely collaborative project that combined Fit For An Autopsy with their friends in Thy Art Is Murder and The Acacia Strain. Jettisoning the cutthroat competitiveness that often gets between bands, the trio of extreme metal acts joined forces for experimental sessions more akin in spirit to the jazz greats and hip-hop artists, but within the context of heavy music.
All of that collaboration and experimentation, to say nothing of Putney’s accomplishments as an in-demand genre producer whose credits include work with both of the bands who joined them in The Depression Sessions, among others, led to an all new focus on The Great Collapse.
“Iron Moon” is an aggressive shot across the bow of the status quo, railing against the mundane servitude of the 9-to-5 grind, yearning for a life of meaning and purpose. It’s as anti-establishment in tone as the album is in sound. Fit For An Autopsy break with genre convention even as they reshape and redefine their chosen sonic landscape. “Heads Will Hang” confronts the worldwide refugee problem, demanding empathy, placing the listener in the shoes of someone displaced from their home, hungry to escape into a safer life. “When the Bulbs Burn Out” expresses the group’s deep concerns or conservationism sustainability. “Black Mammoth” was inspired by the conscientious activism of the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors. Other tracks are more abstract lyrically, but no song on The Great Collapse is without intensity.
The album’s underlying death metal foundation serves as strong support for its more adventurous forays into chaotic hardcore, bits of deathcore, and a meditative, almost droning rumination not unlike the best of shoegaze and desert rock, like a hazy collision between Queens Of The Stone Age and Russian Circles. The omnipresence of rock titans Tool weaves in and out in powerful doses, with The Great Collapse inviting ever more favorable comparisons to Gojira, a band whose evolutionary trajectory is not dissimilar from Fit For An Autopsy’s path.
“It’s definitely easier to make a living as a band by growing your fanbase within one specific style,” notes Putney. “But it's more rewarding to go this route. There’s a certain struggle you face when you’re constantly evolving, obstacles you have to face, but we’re happy to do it.”
Sheridan concurs. “I don't want to sound like any one band or do any one thing. I always want to figure out ways to incorporate new elements that inspire us into what we already do. “We made a promise when we released our first record, which is that we will never do what somebody else wants us to do as a band. We will always carve our own way.”
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