December 24, 2015 Audiotopsy – Natural Causes (Album Review)
Many may wonder who exactly is Audiotopsy? The answer is quite clear. Formed in 2014, they are a band of prominent musicians lead by former Hellyeah and Mudvayne guitarist Greg Tribbett, Mudvayne’s drummer Matthew McDonough, Bassist Perry Stern, and former Skrape vocalist Billy Keeton. Uniting together, the band was immediately signed by the Austrian Napalm Records label, and, on October 2, 2015, released their debut album, Natural Causes. Produced and engineered by Tim Laud (Soulfly, Bonz), the record was put together in roughly a five month period and consists of twelve tracks of aggressive music. With the stamp of an Alternative Metal supergroup, fans of the genre’s curiosity runs wild even prior to hearing one song from this new project.
Truthfully, Natural Causes rumbles from the first notes of the opening track “Headshot” with an enormous bounce. Then comes “All We Know,” which combine the influences of Grunge, Industrial, and Alternative Metal in the best way, carrying the legacy impressively to a new and own vision of the experienced musicians. Later on, “The Calling” brings some Post Grunge elements to the mixture which justifies the generic term Alternative Metal on the whole. This is an attribute which can be found on almost all songs such as “LYLAB” or the slower and more melancholy “Swim,” which is preceded by a tranquil interlude of water following, “H2O.”
The tracks where the musical past of McDonough and Tribbett becomes most pronounced is on the two heavier, pulsating, more interlaced, as well as aggressive pieces “Distorted” and “Darken the Rainbow.” Then there is the harmonic, beautiful “Frozen Scars,” which takes the listener back to the specified Post Grunge era with a slight Sludge vibe before the obscure and eerie outro of “Natural Causes.”
With Natural Causes, Audiotopsy deliver a solid debut album. Soundwise, one could describe Audiotopsy as a union of well-known Rock/Metal elements long-ago died. This means Audiotopsy unites the melancholy of Alice in Chains and the aggression and power of the former Los Angeles based Industrial Metal band Drown, while Keaton awakens memories on 2000 dissolved Misery Loves Co., one of the most all-time underrated bands of the genre. There is certainly a sense of anguish felt through the entire record, leaving the listener immersed into the style Audiotopsy offers. It will be interesting to hear where the band goes in the future as they progress as a unit. Those looking for a throwback record filled with dark tones, Natural Causes is a refreshing break from what other bands are doing on the current scene. CrypticRock gives Natural Causes 3.5 out of 5 stars.