With their last few releases, Fit for an Autopsy have been on a hot streak to say the very least. To count them among some of the top heavy bands operating would be a pretty understandable and wise decision at this point. While it helps that they have a unique brand of deathcore tinged with post-rock/metal that you can’t just find anywhere, their success is largely because the material is rock solid through and through. The music is at such a level of quality, that at this point, it’s not a question of IF they will top themselves but rather HOW they will do it. With the release of their new album, The Sea of Tragic Beasts, it would appear that we have the answer to this burning question.
The Sea of Tragic Beasts combines the raw, unstoppable force of Absolute Hope Absolute Hell with the contemplative nature of The Great Collapse. That is the winning formula that has carried the group to their next great musical achievement. The album has the energy of being inside the mind of a person that is currently drowning, and in the midst of their frantic thrashing, they are replaying every moment that is leading up to their final one. These moments that float across the surface will be a mix of serene beauties and blunt traumas, yet in this last look, they will all likely be considered with the same weight. Though that description may not exactly fit their intention, it operates as powerful visual aid to convey how the music feels. It’s a thoughtful sort of mania that gives the material an impactful sense of urgency.
With the more abstract part of the answer taken care of, there’s little left to postulate in regards to the songs presented here. The title track continues the tradition of Fit for an Autopsy having a killer intro that gives you a crystal clear idea of what’s to follow. “No Man Is Without Fear” obliterates the notion of standing still with countless blows on every sonic front, while “Shepherd” is the band’s flawless homage to the speed and ferocity of early 2000s melodeath. Songs like “Mirrors,” “Unloved,” and “Birds of Prey” capitalize on the “post” aspects of the bands sound for those moments where atmosphere needs to come to the forefront. Every song, regardless of classification or included elements, has the quality that makes it an essential piece of the project.
The Sea of Tragic Beasts is anything but a tragic dip into creative waters for Fit for an Autopsy. It’s a triumphant statement declaring that the band are an undoubtedly vital part of the current metal scene. It combines the energy and thoughtfulness that they’ve been building up with their last few releases to produce their defining moment. In these troubled waters, they’ve erected a monument that stands above the bloodthirsty waters in which other lesser groups would never survive. There’s no question as to whether or not it will stand the test of time, just the question of what they’re next great achievement will look like.
The Sea of Tragic Beasts is available Oct. 25 via Nuclear Blast Records.