A long time ago Cameron “Big Chocolate” Argon did the Legacy of Blood tour over in Europe. One of the bands billed was a small little act known as Annotations of an Autopsy. Throughout the tour videos Big Chocolate was seen hanging out with the members of this band on a daily basis and I thought nothing of it at the time. Many moons later I stumbled upon one of their songs from the Sludge City EP and thought it was okay. There was some sort of sick perversion that kept me listening, and baited me enough to download their first full length Before the Throne of Infection.
Why in the name of Christ am I bringing up a band as bad as Annotations of an Autopsy you ask? Well chill out a second because… it’s exactly what you think. I like this album. I think it’s great. In fact, I love it. Recently I’ve been toting that it’s one of my favorite metal albums of all time, and the more I listen to it the more I can stand behind this claim.
The album starts out with a actually really well constructed intro that consists of dark chords arpeggiated with a clean and large, open guitar tone. The opening transitions from the clean chordal playing into a standard breakdown fairly well and the breakdown really only serves as a bridge to the main album. For a deathcore album, the focus is more along the lines of slammy core; mixing a strong slam and brutal death influence with a lot of earlier deathcore elements such as the ludicrous and laughable pig squealed vocals and occasional breakdowns.
I think what really sets this album apart for me is just the shear stupidity of it. The above song has gang shouts of “SHE BLED FROM EVERY FUCKING HOLE” and “WHEN I’M DONE WITH HER, SHE WON’T HAVE A CUNT LEFT.” This is what fuels me; lyrics written by a fat English guy that probably threw them in there for fun and games. To top it off, the vocals range from standard far guttural death metal to previously mentioned pig squeals and other various types of inhaled noises. Coupled with the legitimately interesting drumming and guitar work that could turn mowing your front lawn into a public display of moshing, the vocals provide an excellent icing to a handicapped cake.
The guitar work on this album is obviously as technical 2+2 and that’s okay. Music isn’t a sport as much as lots of people want you to believe it is. Artistic validity is in the context of the art in which really simple or really complicated techniques are used. In my opinion bands like Darkthrone will forever be more accomplished musicians than the likes of say, Necrophagist or Gorod. But I digress as I don’t believe this album has any artistic validity anyway. These are just jams for hanging out with bros and doing bro things, lifting weights, driving to work, or dominating your favorite TF2 server and that’s actually what I do with this kind of stuff. I don’t find almost any death metal to be “intellectually stimulating” and hell if I care if it is. I can always just turn on some Warning, Sacred Blade, or Burzum if that’s my goal.
There’s always been a charm, or an x-factor for albums like these that has always appealed to me in an indescribable way even though most metalcore or deathcore albums couldn’t hold my interest for 2 minutes. I just want people to give dumb music a chance. Jam some Katy Perry and Annotations of an Autopsy in your free time. See how it feels. Bask in their glory.
What happened to the band after their first full length? Well they released II: The Reign of Darkness in 2010. This album is more or less fairly straight forward death metal with a very weak vocal performance and one or two breakdowns, but otherwise a very standard and passable kind of deal. Where things get rocky is that their 2011 EP Dark Days saw them latching on to Emmure‘s unfortunate rise in popularity to bring you very insincere English faux tough guy deathcore breakdown mess of a new generation with as many New Era hats and hand/neck tattoos as money can buy. Tossing out the kind of stupid that you get from Regular Show and added in that contained by Kid Rock and ICP fans and other meathead brocore bros. Not that anybody liked these guys in the first place, but all good(?) things come to an end I suppose.