Fit For An Autopsy
Fit For An Autopsy had a simple credo and goal when it came to recording their third record.
After spending a lot of time on the road, both sharpening their live skills and listening to other bands, absorbing the many sounds that filled their environment, the band was influenced by what it heard in a unique way. Fit For An Autopsy understood exactly what they DIDN'T want to sound like.
While some heavy music fans love cliche, there has to be something more to add depth, breadth, scope, and staying power, and Fit For An Autopsy used that as a guiding principle for their new album Absolute Hope Absolute Hell.
That may sound very conceptual and esoteric, but once you turn the knobs as far to the right as they will go for Absolute Hope Absolute Hell,which was self-produced at The Machine Shop by guitarist and producer Will Putney (Thy Art Is Murder, The Acacia Strain, Northlane), it will all become clearer.
Fit For An Autopsy, who've honed their live chops by touring with the likes of Devil Driver, Whitechapel, Suicide Silence, Thy Art is Murder, Acacia Strain, Crowbar and more, have an updated lineup with a new vocalist, as well. But it's all for the better.
We started the band with Nate [Johnson], but he grew out of being in a touring band and he is a hard man to replace, so it took us a second to find someone who is compatible, has a voice and the same ideals, and is excited to be in a band for the long haul. We found our guy [in new vocalist Joe Badolato] and we could not be happier. He is the best thing to happen to the band since it's inception. I look forward to what we can accomplish with him," Putney said.
As stated, when it came to writing and recording the new effort, the band narrowed itself on a specific goal. The previous album, Hellbound is aggressive and brutal, but as Putney noted, "After listening to more music, and expanding our palette, we realized we are capable of making a more interesting metal record. We saw lots of bands doing the same thing over and over. We thought, 'We can expand on all of this in a way that is unique to us,' so we approached the new album with that mentality, to break the mold of what we saw and heard, and to go outside of the limits of our genre."
Guitarist Pat Sheridan concurred, saying, "From the first album [The Process of Human Extermination] to Hellbound, there is a big change in the feel, the tone, the songwriting and the ability to write a song. You are supposed to write a new record that is totally different."
Some of these changes will be immediately audible to Fit For An Autopsy fans.
Putney said, "It has a lot of influences from outside of the death metal world. I started testing the waters on the last record. But this time, I went even further down that path. I did more groove-oriented stuff, cleaned up the guitar work, and added some more post-rock ambience than I ever thought we could pull off. Referencing the bands we love like Gojira, Russian Circles, etc. How we approached the leads and song structures, like post-rock vs. death metal, is new. It put us in a place where we have something that stands on its own."
Sheridan finished, "Will brought in more influences and that makes songs heavier. It may not be aggressive all the way through, but the aggression stands out more. There is more diversity; it's not a freight train running throughout. But it takes you somewhere, instead of rattling you from start to finish."
So while Fit for an Autopsy looked to their surroundings when writing and recording to determine the route they didn't want to take, they were also wholly inspired by their environment when it came to lyrics.
"The title track sums up some of the themes of the record into one song," Putney said. "There is a lot of talk about the duality of people and the world we are in.... how we're capable of doing great things and solving problems or helping create solutions or resolutions, but for one reason or another, we don't. We're apathetic as a race, and that leads to a lot of problems that could be easily fixed and that's environmental, personal, or family dynamics, on any big or small scale. A lot of fault lies in people who are not willing to fix things; that is where the theme comes from."
Other songs cover more specific ideas related to that overarching theme.
The song "Ghosts in the River" is about how we, as a people, are putting a price on everything. When everything is for sale and therefore assigned a value, society breaks down, since as Putney notes, "Certain things should not be quantified."
Sheridan further explained, "The song itself is one of the saddest songs I have ever heard or have been a part of creating. There is a feeling in that song and how it moves. It's a miserable song. It makes me feel bad for the world around us. That is an important theme. When we create music, we want it to have a feeling. Certain bands remind you of when you were a kid, and certain music marked times in your life. This track reminds of how that happens and it makes me feel awful, and that is what is there for."
For Absolute Hope Absolute Hell, Fit For An Autopsy learned how to employ melodics in a way that shows just how crushingly heavy their heavy parts are. But the melodic parts are not simply thrown in capriciously to demonstrate their heaviness. Even with more melodic touches, the band did not ease up on the gas pedal. Not. Even. Close.
Sheridan explained, "It's as aggressive as we've always been, but with real songwriting. Bands with longevity always grow and change. Look at Gojira or bands that are super aggressive and raw and yet they eventually grow into this different thing. Will is our primary songwriter and a producer, so for him to be around music all day and hear other songwriting, it becomes a thing." Sheridan succinctly defined the record as"angry, sad, and well-written," all points that cannot be argued, since that's exactly what the album is.
Absolute Hope Absolute Hell is the logical nextstep for Fit For An Autopsy. It slays with its speed and fury, but it's not mindless metallic mania. It's intelligently crafted and impactful, with a keen sense of melody that doesn't temper but only enhances the brutality.
Overall, it's thinking man's metal that doesn't scrimp on the ferocity. Fit For An Autopsy just found a fresh, sonically thrilling way to translate their sound, all the while keeping their core style in tact.