Fit For An Autopsy – Oh What The Future Holds (Album Review)

Fit For An Autopsy - Oh What The Future Holds album review

Fit For An AutopsyOh What The Future Holds
Released: January 14, 2022

Lineup

Will Putney // Guitar
Pat Sheridan // Guitar
Josean Orta // Drums
Tim Howley // Guitar
Joe Badolato // Vocals
Peter “Blue” Spinazola // Bass

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Virtuosic, cutting-edge, epic – these are just some phrases to describe self-acclaimed post-deathcore outfit Fit For An Autopsy. On the back of their 2019 record The Sea of Tragic Beasts, the band have been back in the studio and are on the verge of dropping their biggest album to date, Oh What The Future Holds; a release day they’re sharing with other heavy hitters like Shadow of Intent and Enterprise Earth. ICYMI: We recently chatted to sound engineer / guitarist Will Putney of the band about the new record.

Having heard a number of singles already (namely, ‘Far From Heaven‘, ‘Pandora‘ and ‘In Shadows‘), it’s clear that Fit For An Autopsy have gone big for their sixth record, and they’re not just out to recycle the same stuff, or appease anyone in particular. The best thing about these musicians is they seriously ‘walk the talk’ when they play this incredible material live – and we can prove it, just check out their livestream support set for Trivium, where they’ve once again put on a display that in my books has awarded them best on field.

One of the words I just used to describe Fit For An Autopsy was ‘epic’, and a quick Google definition defines it as “heroic or grand in scale or character“. Just listen to the opening title track ‘Oh What The Future Holds‘ and you’ll quickly realise how grand this LP is going to be. Imagine an ease in of soft and gentle oceanic tones with incremental introduction of instruments, followed by the first of many chemically injecting crescendos with vocalist Joe Badolato and the rest of the band, who share with us a glimpse of their hellish orchestra. “OH WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS“… queue orgasmic breakdown.

It’s almost a relief to hear the now-familiar ‘Pandora’ after that heart-attack intro, in order to re-group and rebalance those hormones. ‘Pandora’ holds its accolades since its release as a single, as it really harnesses Autopsy’s new-age sound from records like The Sea of Tragic Beasts and The Great Collapse. However, it also introduces us to some new experimental features, particularly a leniency into thrash, plus continuous rhythmic shifts which is the first of many tracks on the record to take you on an ontological journey, deeply entangled by the ominous lyrics. The faded outro allows another opportunity to collect yourself before the next immersive episode.

We then get an opportunity to hear Fit For An Autopsy‘s album announcing single ‘Far From Heaven‘ this time embedded in their masterpiece – and it does certainly provide a different perspective hearing it after the vastly different ‘Pandora. Slapping this single on top of the last one helps accentuate the contrast from the new-age sound to the slower and more typical style of the band, and deepens the journey we’re already encapsulated by. The familiarity of the song is certainly nostalgic of the past two records, and is one that will cater to long-time fans, as well as a gift to emerging fans with some experimental pleasures, particularly in the way the breakdowns are managed.

In Shadows’ is the final track we’ve heard before, and although already released as a single, it contains features to that of a deep-cut, alluding to the band’s awesome decision for it to be a single. The four-minute belter kicks in with a brief chug, before guitarist and mixing extraordinaire Will Putney and the other guitarists slice into some finely-tuned riffs. Badolato projects diverse spews of his typically well-refined unclean vocals, maintaining his art of echoing reverberation; he really is a master of melodic growl delivery. ‘In Shadows’ may not be an obvious album-favourite, but it caters something different in its style.

Blink and you’ll miss it, or so they say. We’re about mid-way through Oh What The Future Holds which induces mixed emotions as you just want to hold onto that uplifting feeling of hearing a special record like this for the first time, for as long as possible. However, the emotions are mitigated by an unimaginable track titled ‘Two Towers‘, which is probably one of my favourite songs on this record. Spanning almost six-minutes, this track will have you confused as to whether to head-bang up and down happily or disgustingly shake your head left and right. With an opening minute of clean-vocals, ‘Two Towers’ collapses into multi-layered rhythmic chaos, another brilliant mastermind outcome from Putney. The mystifying entangling continues as you fall captive to the black hole of tickling and powerful drums, screeching riffs and the edging progression of Badolato‘s unforgiving roar – with an eerie close, as powerful as its opening. Songs like this really help you appreciate the brains behind this operation; this is post-deathcore.

A Higher Level Of Hate‘ introduces the back-end of this already-fabulous record. With a lead-in from echoing drums, Fit For An Autopsy take us on a ride of their rollercoaster into a swarm of buzzing riffs that’ll release enough G-forces and serotonin into you, that you may just pass out. Coming from ‘Two Towers‘ to this one is another transition from the New Jersey outfit to make you want to sit down and deeply analyse what the hell is going on. The thrash-elements return in full force as the guitars take you on quick turns and even a few vertical loops. The three-quarter mark unleashes one of the record’s biggest breakdowns with the bass hitting so sharply with the return of those mesmerising buzzing riffs, that you’ll be buying passes to this rollercoaster again and again, until the final ride of the day. 

We then get taken on a different kind of ride with ‘Collateral Damage‘. Putney has definitely had fun with numbers like this one, as the stylistic twists and turns come from more of a technical showcasing point of view. With deathcore harmonies and divine riffs, and the impression of gang-vocal layering, this song allows you to really understand the virtuosic capabilities of this band, even if it doesn’t have the ‘epic’ factor of some of its preceding pieces.

With only three tracks to go, curiosity is endless as to what’s left of this record. ‘Savages‘ takes on a less-clean and more animalistic approach as compared to the carefully polishing we’ve been presented with so far on Oh What The Future Holds. Badolato spews lyrics from more of a carnal place than we’ve heard on the rest of the record thus far, and at times, the guitars squeal to coincide the chaos, but this the track is all about culmination toward an edging and prolonged breakdown.

Conditional Healing’ will have you preparing for the end (hesitantly), as if you’re undergoing a form of grief. Ever think you’d hear mathcore elements on a Fit For An Autopsy? Me either, yet here we are. The song shapeshifts rapidly with everchanging rhythms, swinging across different instrument emphases, and varying vocal tuning. Putney was going for chaos with this one, and well, he got it; however, with this band it’s organised chaos and they would never have it any other way.

Having just about reached the end, the mysterious delivery of ‘The Man That I Was Not‘ is unveiled – a direction that encapsulates a clean vocal emphasis once again – a wonderful element the band have brought in for this record; particularly when it boils into a fierce instrumental and vocal culmination of emotion. Interestingly, the rhythm, tuning and overall sonics all spark a connection to one of the faster songs by The Acacia Strain, another band who deny the deathcore label, but blend in many of its elements, amongst many other experimental components.

Mid-way, ‘The Man That I Was Not‘ reverts back to its opening calm, leaving even more mystery to how this song will continue developing. The answer is that it is less about development, and more about closure, as it is at this point that you realise you’re only minutes away from the end of this record; albeit the end of a seven-minute track. A stead-fast melody emerges that helps you appreciate once again how diverse this band are capable of being, and how layered tracks like these truly are. Oh, and don’t worry – a final breakdown (followed by more gang-vocal effects) in the last couple of moments will perpetuate the trance you may find yourself in.

Alright, slap those cheeks – awaken from the journey. It’s over now. Fit For An Autopsy have delivered a stunning LP, and once again have topped their preceding record, and arguably back catalogue with a stupidly ferocious album.  Oh What The Future Holds may cause you some stress as you didn’t plan on picking an AOTY contender in the first two weeks of the year.

Fit For An Autopsy - Oh What The Future Holds album review

Fit For An Autopsy – Oh What The Future Holds tracklisting

1. Oh What The Future Holds
2. Pandora
3. Far From Heaven
4. In Shadows
5. Two Towers
6. A Higher Level Of Hate
7. Collateral Damage
8. Savages
9. Conditional Healing
10. The Man That I Was Not

Rating: 9/10
Oh What The Future Holds comes out on January 14 via Nuclear Blast and Human Warfare.
Pre-order here.
Review by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90

Check out our Virtual Hangs interview with Will Putney here

About Ricky Aarons (375 Articles)
Co-editor at Wall of Sound

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