Review: “The Sea Of Tragic Beasts” by Fit For An Autopsy

Returning with their fifth studio album and the follow up to the simply stunning “The Great Collapse”, vocalist Joe Badolato, drummer Joesean Orta, bassist Peter Spinazola and guitarist trio Will Putney, Patrick Sheridan and Tim Howley have forged a Post-Deathcore sound from Hardcore roots. Having the legendary Will Putney in their ranks and at the production helm brings a wealth of experience in getting the sound and the mix right. It’s been two years between records which is their traditional duration so it’s time to review the latest offering from New Jersey bruisers Fit For An Autopsy

Opening with the album title track “The Sea Of Tragic Beasts” the call is “fall in the fire with me” amid some throw your body and your friends body around riffs with plenty of low dirge. It’s an introduction that befits any Metal album, giving it an air of menace and tension. The addition of cleaner gang chanted vocals for the chorus with hints of an influence from The Ghost Inside is an interesting move and the unrelentingly quality is a guantlet laid down for the rest of the album. “No Man Is Without Fear” builds up over 20 sends before putting the hammer down with bludgeoning chugging riffs and echoing the slide sound of the album opening riffs. Bringing some Blackened Death Metal influences into the riffs and beefing them up to make them their own makes it a cut you could easily have heard on the last Thy Art Is Murder album. The solo is slick and has the precision of a tactical missile. A Technical lead riff keeps the energy up for “Shepard” which is a relentlessly furious attack soaked in blood, sweat and tears lyrically depicting man as a cancer destroying all that surrounds us. The pause break riffs of a mid cut breakdown seem out of place in theory but add a knuckleduster to the bands weighty punch for what is a bloating start to the album.

Having set the bar high with “The Great Collapse” and higher still will the opening three tunes, “Your Pain Is Mine” sees vocalist Joe Badolato in throat ripping form with imposingly brutal tones from the very start. Perhaps the most underrated member of the band he’s a vital piece of the six pieces jigsaw puzzle. Another blistering cut of relentless quality, pace and energy, Post-Hardcore esq melodic bridge into a thunderstorm of a a dark churning breakdown is mind-blowing. The pain in the lyrics and their delivery is done so much more than justice. “Mirrors” dark and brooding overtones speaks of a cold and empty World during the opening third before smashing it’s clenched into the nearest inanimate object. The tempo shift up into something The Black Dahlia Murder might use with some speed Metal and Thrash riffs is a real pleasure and when it cuts dead you feel like it could have given another minute. The shortest cut at 165 seconds is “Unloved”, an epic piece of atmosphere building with an aggresive finger pointing verse and a one word chorus that rains fire down on every parade. It’s nothing short of brutally brilliant. Once again showcasing the Technical ability in the riff department “Mourn” builds tension with dense slabs of rhythmic gymnastics while Sheridan delivers some moments that add a touch of class to everything. It’s the ice cube in the single malt on a track that builds from some darker more melodic work into some Deathcore brutality perfectly.

“Warfare” will be a cut to open up the pit live with its vitrolic vocals “we go for the throat, we do what we’re told, another day in the mine field, another lie is sold” and¬†it’s socially aware lyrics. Heavy end Metalcore riffs that belong on the latest As I Lay Dying album keep the energy and aggresive tendencies high and by the closing breakdown riff you’re wondering if there will be a weaker cut on the album. The answer to that no. There is no weak moment on the album. There is nothing that is a mistake or that sounds out of place. The album takes the best of “The Great Collapse” and it’s predecessor “Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell” and builds from the solid foundations. “Birds of Prey” brings some Tech-Metal riffs to the party alongside some blast beats and an adrenalized pacing. The solo is well timed and adds shine to a track that has everything you could possibly want and so much more. The closing crushing breakdown is so dense it’s like planets colliding. The bleak and haunting¬† “Napalm Dreams” calls for a way out that capitalises on the atmospherics of the earlier material a embraces a creativity and fluidity in a bold statement piece. An album that raises an already high bar higher, Fit For An Autopsy have gone from strength to strength and given their finest collective performance to date with an album that defys all the odds and takes things to another level. In a year that has seen some mighty fine albums, this one could be top of the pile [9/10]

Track listing

  1. The Sea Of Tragic Beasts
  2. No Man Is Without Fear
  3. Shepard
  4. Your Pain Is Mine
  5. Mirrors
  6. Unloved
  7. Mourn
  8. Warfare
  9. Birds of Prey
  10. Napalm Dreams

“The Sea Of Tragic Beasts” by Fit For An Autopsy is out now via Nuclear Blast

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