A relatively new band that features Greg Tribbett and Matthew McDonough of Mudvayne, Audiotopsy deliver their grooving goods, The Real Now, on Friday, November 2, 2018, thanks to Megaforce Records.
For all basic purposes, the Grammy-nominated sludge-tastic Mudvayne called it quits in 2010, after releasing five impressive full-length discs. Each of the band’s talented musicians would go on to explore other musical avenues, with Guitarist Greg Tribbett spending several years touring and recording with the supergroup Hellyeah before rejoining forces with Drummer Matthew McDonough, also formerly of Mudvayne, to create a brand-new group, Audiotopsy. Formed in 2014, Audiotopsy released their full-length debut, Natural Causes, in 2015, and have been romping and stomping their way across the scene ever since.
With the release of their second full-length disc, The Real Now, Audiotopsy – Vocalist/Guitarist Billy Keeton (formerly of Skrape), Guitarist Tribbett, Bassist Perry Stern, and Drummer McDonough – have opted to go the self-produced route. Bringing in Dave Fortman (Slipknot, Mudvayne) to handle vocal production and mixing, the quartet has authored an eight-song collection that crosses from sludgy 1990s influenced rockers to gritty Southern swagger. Says Tribbett: “This record is really well-rounded with the Audiotopsy sound. There are very cool atmospheric vibes as well as old school Metal riffs.“
The Real Now explodes into the deviant “War,” with gritty vocals and sludgy bass that meander the band through Metal peaks and some Stoner Rock valleys; it’s under-produced, raw madness that provides a solid representation of the collection as a whole. This flows perfectly into the stomp through the mud that is “Hologram,” though here the chorus goes for more melody than its predecessor. Next, they change it up and go for an Alice In Chains dusty swagger on “Panic on the Airwaves,” which ends with a delicate piano-laden confession of being “forever unhinged.”
There’s a clear return to the bass-heavy attack on “Fade Away,” complete with catchy cat-calls that bridge the gap into the acoustic “Hurt Down.” This is a far more delicate sound that, ultimately, builds to a gritty, electrified conclusion and amps the boys back up to sludgy stomping on the languid rocker “What Am I?” Then, Audiotopsy’s love of the romper-stomper continues on “If Only,” an ode to feeling so very lonely, before they close out the collection with a bang entitled “A Death Benefit,” a poisonous rocker that goes full pummel.
Audiotopsy’s songs largely fit one of two categories: exceedingly sludgy, languidly rocking romper-stompers, or the dusty Southern grit that is done so flawlessly by Alice In Chains. Therefore, The Real Now vacillates between a heavy 1990s influence and a raw, not yet fully developed sound, creating an eight-song collection of heavily under-produced Hard Rock with Metal edges. While it shows definite promise – and the band clearly display solid musicianship – they haven’t quite achieved their goal just yet, which leaves Audiotopsy sounding like a really good idea that just has not been fully-developed. For these reasons, CrypticRock give Audiotopsy’s The Real Now 3 of 5 stars.