New Jersey deathcore outfit Fit For An Autopsy have developed a reputation as one of the most consistent and, let’s say, dependable acts in modern metal. Each release from the band has featured experiments in atmosphere and production which help to enhance the band’s established punishing sound. The Great Collapse, the band’s fourth full-length LP, continues that trend in a great way, and is easily their most focused, vitriolic and moving work to date.
First thing’s first: this album is heavy. Disgustingly heavy. Things kick off with opening track “Hydra,” which chugs along on with a flurry of triplets as singer Joe Badolato sets the stage for the dystopia this record speaks about at great length. The pummeling continues on “Heads Will Hang,” which seems to draw direct influence from the push and pull of pummeling chords and pickscratching riffing from Gojira, crescendoing in a breakdown truly for the ages.
Upon multiple listens, it becomes clear that each member of the band is at the top of their game on The Great Collapse. “Black Mammoth,” another album standout, is a good example of this. Each chord struck, each drum beat, and every word screamed is done so with power and purpose. Solos on tracks “Iron Moon” and “Terraform” add layers of technicality to the heavy chord beatdowns scattered throughout the rest of the record, and are among some of the band’s best leads. Frontman Badolato has also never sounded better. On his second record for the band, he has seamlessly incorporated screamed “clean” singing as an added layer to his deep gutturals. On “Heads Will Hang,” “When The Bulbs Burn Out” and “Too Late,” his singing offers a haunting ambiance amidst the fury of each track.
A true standout on the album is track “Empty Still.” It seems like a more fleshed out successor to the last album’s “Out To Sea,” which was an emotional interlude that shifted from moody clean riffs underlying post-rock style screams to an all-out assault. Here, we have the full realization of that idea, as the track opens with a humble harmonic guitar part played against soft drums. “Empty Still” builds with the addition of Badolato’s screams, and ends with unhinged delivery from each member of the band. It’s a thing of unholy beauty, and the closest thing this record has to a tearjeak moment.