AUTOPSY - Mental Funeral (PEACEVILLE Records LP 1991)
This is going to be a difficult question to answer – which Autopsy album is better: "Severed Survival" or "Mental Funeral"? Both are obviously fantastic, yes, and each has its strengths, but I personally cannot decide which of these two I like more. Usually people like debut records more than the following releases. I can name dozens of bands, where first album is their best. They may have five, ten or even more albums released, but none of them equals the greatness of their first LP. In case of Autopsy it isn't that easy. Yes, "Severed Survival" had some of the best and most classic songs, which this band has ever recorded. Yes, I love the primitive feeling and raw production of it. And of course, this record had an incredible influence on the entire death metal scene. But "Mental Funeral" is also damn fantastic and equals debut in every aspect.
When you listen to "Mental Funeral" you have to admit that the has improved... Maybe this album doesn't have such classic tunes like "Ridden Disease" or "Charred Remains", but some of the riffs that Autopsy rips the skin with are fuckin' superb. And the fact that the doomy parts sound ever better is a big bonus for me. I love that crushing, nasty and truly obscure sound of slow paced, malicious death metal. When such slimy riffs come from the speakers, you can literally feel the blood coming from your ears and see the walls crushing to pieces. This incredible, devastating strength is in many songs from "Mental Funeral", I can for example name such cults like "In the Grip of Winter", "Dead", "Torn from the Womb" (which is the best song on the album!), "Destined to Fester" and "Robbing the Grave". More so, it is great that the music sometimes has tiny more melodic feel... Damn, these harmonies which are present in tracks such as "Torn from the Womb" and especially "Hole in the Head" are simply fantastic. When you will listen to this LP carefully, it may feel like someone wanted to make your old Black Sabbath's classics sound as primitive, repelling and insane as you can imagine. Crazy idea, but how well it works and what a delicious death / doom classic "Mental Funeral" is!
If there's anything I like less about "Mental Funeral" then I would mention the instrumental pieces like "" or "", which I just think are unnecessary and I don't enjoy them so much. And I would say the production also, because I prefer the utterly disgusting and horrid sound of the debut album (drums sound especially). I'm glad though that the guitar tone is still so amazing, because I love it! And Chris vocals are as insane and sick as you can imagine, he vomits like crazy maniac. You have to love it! So, I won't decide which of the two Autopsy early records I like more. They're just equally fantastic. Yeah!
Standout tracks: "Torn from the Womb", "Hole in the Head", In the Grip of Winter", "Destined to Fester"
Final rate: 90/100