The crushing music of Fit For An Autopsy is for any fan of extreme metal, its sound and fury is absolutely unflinching in
purpose. The band expertly blends excessive, force-fueled death metal with atmospheric groove and impassioned personal diatribes,
reflecting back the dark state of current events. Their fifth studio album, The Sea Of Tragic Beasts, doesn’t waste time with
fantasy bullshit or cliché gore horror. Fit For An Autopsy are metal guys, to be certain, but they grew up in the hardcore
scene. They embrace the responsibility to put as much devoted purpose into their lyrics and message as they do into their
dense, heady, songs, forging a magnificently powerful new "post-deathcore."
“When I write a song, I’m trying to feel emotionally connected to it. I really don’t like saying things that don’t matter
over music that I want to matter,” says Will Putney, producer/guitarist, principal songwriter and co-founder. “We’ve always
addressed serious topics going back to our first album. Anyone who really looks around at the current state of the world should
be able to relate to the aggression, anger, frustration, and sadness often communicated in our music."
Putney’s fellow guitarist/co-founder, Patrick Sheridan, strongly agrees. He emphasizes that while the music of Fit For An
Autopsy may evolve it will always be aggressive and will always have purpose. “We think it's important to carry that torch.
Somebody's got to say something about what's going on. If you're not using your music, which is a great platform, for something
meaningful that you care about on some level, then you're wasting it.”
The six men of the New Jersey based group – which includes vocalist Joe Badolato, bassist Peter Spinazola, third guitarist
Tim Howley, and drummer Josean Orta – put maximum intentionality into everything they do. They are constantly challenging
themselves as musicians, adding to the band’s overall creative arsenal, connecting with audiences around the world, and supporting
one another in the band as individual people.
Fit For An Autopsy first summoned one of the most crushing takes on the then-burgeoning deathcore genre with their 2008 demo
and the following year’s self-released Hell On Earth EP, which led to a deal with The Red Chord vocalist Guy Kozowyk’s Black
Market Activities label.
Their debut album The Process Of Human Extermination earned them a place among the genre’s giants, cementing them as energizing
leaders rather than stale followers. As MetalSucks observed: “The band’s brutal, glowering take on [deathcore] reminded [us]
of the squandered potential of the genre. Hardcore grooves and swagger, when incorporated correctly, blend quite well with
death metal.” Fit For An Autopsy’s determined drive, work ethic, and devilishly unmistakable talent next elicited the attention
of Good Fight/eOne, the group’s home starting with their sophomore album.
On Hellbound, Fit For An Autopsy expanded their commanding approach to death metal with hints of various sub-genres by absorbing
increasingly diverse elements, from the rhythmic experimentalism of Gojira to the aggressive post-Noisecore of Converge, with
a dose of the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal, and a touch of groove unique to the New Jersey six-piece. The group began to
cut their teeth on the road, racking up several full US tours with the likes of The Acacia Strain, Thy Art Is Murder, Whitechapel,
Suicide Silence, and Crowbar. Towards the end of this album cycle, the touring took its toll on original frontman Nate Johnson,
who amically split from the band.
Rather than take a step back, the third studio album Absolute Hope Absolute Hell served as the recorded introduction of the
defining powerhouse vocalist Joe Badolato, whose impressive range helped destroy all remaining self-imposed doubts and boundaries.
It’s something the group’s instrumental members had yearned to do as even as they prepared the material prior to enlisting
their new singer.
Absolute Hope Absolute Hell cracked the Top 20 on the Hard Rock Albums chart and hit #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.
As Putney often noted in interviews, the record stood defiantly apart from those that offered little more than thirty minutes
of blast beats and breakdowns.
Sure, that kind of nonstop pummeling has its place, but Fit For An Autopsy concentrated their focus less on crazy tempo changes
and more on atmosphere and vibe, keeping one foot in the crushingly heavy arena while drawing more deeply from traditional
metal influences, post-rock, and esoteric nuance. In 2015, the same year as Metal Injection and other tastemakers hailed the
group’s progression, Fit For An Autopsy joined the Stronger Than Faith Tour with Suicide Silence, Emmure, and Within The Ruins,
followed by a co-headlining tour with Aborted, a trek with Old Wounds, and the Tune Low Die Slow Tour with Acacia Strain and
“Being out there touring, I can say that our fans have been very accepting of each change and progression,” Sheridan notes
proudly. “I’m very grateful, as oftentimes bands are scrutinized heavily as they evolve. We definitely took a step in a direction
that people were excited about, and will continue to do so.”
Putney points to Absolute Hope Absolute Hell as a definitive moment in the band’s career when they truly came into their own.
“I like the earlier records a lot but we were definitely lumped in with a lot of similar-sounding bands at the time. I was
happy that we were able carve our own path a little bit more on the last album, which we carry with confidence into the future.”
Between Absolute Hope Absolute Hell and its follow-up The Great Collapse, the group’s members were able to broaden their creative
horizons even further with what became known as “The Depression Sessions,” a uniquely collaborative project that combined
Fit For An Autopsy with their friends in Thy Art Is Murder and The Acacia Strain. Jettisoning the cutthroat competitiveness
that often gets between bands, the trio of extreme metal acts joined forces for experimental sessions more akin in spirit
to the jazz greats and hip-hop artists, but within the context of heavy music.
All of that collaboration and experimentation – to say nothing of Putney’s accomplishments as an in-demand genre producer
whose credits include work with both of the bands who joined them in “The Depression Sessions,” among other genre standouts
– led to an all new focus on the band’s fourth album, The Great Collapse.
“Iron Moon” is an aggressive shot across the bow of the status quo, railing against the mundane servitude of the 9-to-5 grind,
yearning for a life of meaning and purpose. It’s as anti-establishment in tone as the album is in sound. Fit For An Autopsy
break with genre convention even as they reshape and redefine their chosen sonic landscape. “Heads Will Hang” confronts the
worldwide refugee problem, demanding empathy, placing the listener in the shoes of someone displaced from their home, hungry
to escape into a safer life. “When the Bulbs Burn Out” expresses the group’s deep concerns or conservationism sustainability.
“Black Mammoth” was inspired by the conscientious activism of the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors. Other tracks are more
abstract lyrically, but no song on The Great Collapse is without intensity.
The album’s underlying death metal foundation serves as strong support for its more adventurous forays into chaotic hardcore,
bits of deathcore, and a meditative, almost droning rumination not unlike the best of shoegaze and desert rock, like a hazy
collision between Queens Of The Stone Age and Russian Circles. The omnipresence of rock titans Tool weaves in and out in powerful
doses, with The Great Collapse inviting ever more favorable comparisons to Gojira, a band whose evolutionary trajectory is
not dissimilar from Fit For An Autopsy’s path.
Two extensive years of touring followed this release, which debuted at an impressive position of #47 on the billboard top
200. The band circled the globe multiple times, covering an ever expansive fan base opening for the likes of Trivium, Arch
Enemy, Hatebreed, Sepultura, and Architects. European festivals, a successful headliner, and another coheadliner with Unearth
The band buckeled down in the fall of 2018 to prepare what may just be their defining moment, the Nuclear Blast Records debut
The Sea Of Tragic Beasts. The intention of Fit For An Autopsy to truly carve their own path appears to have been triumphantly
The title track wastes no time demonstrating the unbridaled primitive aggression and intensity the group has come to perfect.
"Mirrors" weaves in and out of saddened passages, chaotic metal, and atomspheric epicness, all while maintining thoughtful
expressions on the human condition. "Shepherd" could very well go down as a melodic death metal classic, and it's cascade
into the deeply empassioned "Your Pain Is Mine" is a shining testament to this band's versatility and musical prowness. Socially
conscience themes are once again abundant and blunt. There's an underlying urgency to the personal exploration on this album,
and an almost desperation to the tone and delivery of Badolato that truly breaks down the boundaries of extreme music, and
crosses into a much more connected conduit with the listener. One thing is clear at the end of this 45 minute journey, there
is no stopping Fit For An Autopsy from their realizing their vision as musicians. And in all honesty, who would want to.