You had to feel for New Jersey sextet Fit for an Autopsy when they toured the UK with Suicide Silence in 2014. Sandwiched between Black Tongue and Thy Art is Murder, they were competing directly with two bands from the world of deathcore with unique personalities armed only with a handful of filler. They certainly weren’t on the lips of punters after the tour finished.
Since then, progression in the group’s songwriting has been witnessed. 2015’s ‘Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell’ offered touches of grandeur to their hack-and-slash beatdown/blastbeat efforts, and on fourth record ‘The Great Collapse’, they’ve tried to build on that foundation.
Emphasis on groove becomes obvious early into ‘The Great Collapse’. Lead single ‘Heads Will Hang’ revolves around a 4-4 stomp during its main hook, recalling material from Gojira’s ‘Magma,’ indicating ambitions to reach beyond a deathcore audience. These sections do make an impact, with trakcs like ‘Black Mammoth’ and ‘When the Bulb Burns Out’, containing gang-vocal choruses that sound like entire choirs are joining the band too. This also enhances the dystopian atmosphere the band aim to create across the album.
However, these moments are diamonds in the tried and trodden deathcore tropes littered across the record. There’s no lack of technical prowess in Will Putney and Pat Sheridan’s guitar work, but too many of these riffs have been used since 2008. Spacing them out with ambient interludes and synthesiser backdrops doesn’t manage to rejuvenate them. In fact, hearing Joe Badolato screaming against the quiet section that opens ‘Empty Still’ feels awkward.
Fit for an Autopsy want to innovate, but on ‘The Great Collapse’ they aim higher than they can shoot on. Musicianship and energy are on top form throughout these nine tracks, but it’s far from a standout record. Deathcore purists will get a lot out of this, but it’s difficult to picture them gaining any more recognition from a bigger crowd than they did three years ago.
‘The Great Collapse’ by Fit for and Autopsy is released on 17th March on Long Branch Records.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)