Deathcore is a genre that has long been stagnating in its own repetitiveness. Many pioneers of the genre, like Whitechapel and Job For A Cowboy, have moved on to pastures new, but there are plenty of no-brain sheep that insist on mindless chugging with no regard for uniqueness. It’s true then that Fit For An Autopsy are playing a dangerous game by releasing their first opus on eOne, ‘Hellbound’, without taking any notice of these pitfalls and traps. On the surface, ‘Hellbound’ is just another 2tough4u flat-peak album, but take a closer look and there’s a lot here to raise an eyebrow.
‘Hellbound’ strips the bones of deathcore bare and replaces them in a way that redefines the genre. All the key elements are here; open stringed nonchalance, eyes-rolled-back-in-the-head Jens Kidman-like growling, and an attitude that would shock and appall your average church-goer. All of these parts, however, are backed up with styles from other genres; technical polyrhythms from the djent genre and a proficiency to match. Ex-Through The Eyes Of The Dead vocalist, Nate Johnson, packs a powerful punch on vocals, sounding like Johnny from The Shining with a sore throat.
There are plenty of moments on ‘Hellbound’ that could easily derail the steadily ferocious pace of the album. Some of the song titles, like ‘Thank You Budd Dwyer’ and ‘There Is Nothing Here Worth Keeping’, are pretty juvenile, and the whole theme of world downfall is one that’s been done many times before. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t ignore the subject matter, though, and just enjoy the music. Album closer, ‘The Travelers’, is a mighty number that feels like a punch to the face with a boulder; odd-sounding ripped chords melding together in a cauldron of disgust to create something that will rip apart any venue across the world.
‘Dead In The Dirt’ is another terrifying three and a half minute journey through the twisted and contorted minds of madmen. Nate Johnson howls for you to “bury him deep in the forest”, and his convincing tone makes you truly believe that your life may be at stake if you don’t comply. Some of the song titles are a bit silly, like ‘Children Of The Corn Syrup’ and ‘Mother Of The Year’, but what FFAA lack in song titling ability they more than make up for in song writing skills.
Fit For An Autopsy have the opportunity now to take this momentum forward and forge a name for themselves in the new wave of young death metal bands, if they so choose it. They could easily rival the heavy hitters of Thy Art Is Murder and Martyr Defiled for the crown of best upcoming deathcore troupe if they follow the form of ‘Hellbound’.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)