Foul Body Autopsy – This Machine Kills Zombies (2018) REVIEW

Leicester based one-man DIY death/thrasher Foul Body Autopsy has done everything humanly possible to make his zombie killing machine work on his second full-length album ‘This Machine Kills Zombies’ and while it is his greatest success yet, his ideas and meticulous arrangements are quality enough to warrant either collaboration or drum lessons. The muted mix and programmed drums do a slight disservice to the intensity of Tom Reynolds‘ song-writing and flatten dynamic, old school thrash inspired guitar work. But hey, these are minor limitations and I think EZDrummer type drum programming can fool just about anyone with enough polish and the right samples.

‘This Machine Kills Zombies’ isn’t just a nod to the George A. Romero inspired comic book-ish zombie-squishing theme but also a hint at the anti-Fascist sentiment expressed within the gory, flesh-slurping death/thrash half hour. The rigidity of Reynolds’ accomplished guitar playing is felt as his riffs are timed with such precision that it initially lacks the rotten, ragged-ness I’d expected from the comic book visuals and dripping logo. His approach is very early The Haunted and adds some modern Revocation and Torture Squad-like touches. I know this is something I’ve picked up on before, and could just be my melodic hardcore/skate punk fandom kicking in, but “Chaos Reigns” hints at and “Obliterate All Life” kinda edges into pop-punk riffing that I believe is meant to bridge The Black Dahlia Murder and classic thrash.

Whatever small gripes I have with robot instruments and TBDM riffs are outweighed by a few looming positives. The most important pro here is the exceptional flow of ideas that this expresses in terms of being a guitar driven death/thrash album with modern influences that manages to avoid redundant self-cornering typical of the style. The guitar work is impeccably performed and written with healthy stylistic variation that reaches a few inches beyond expectation. It takes a slippery set of hands to dodge between Carcass-esque melodic death, post-melo/half-thrashing a la Dew-Scented, and modern thrash metal standardization without offending a snooty old school thrash nerd like me. I can’t really dig deeper into this thing without a lyric sheet but at the very least I enjoy the description of themes and their intention.

Standout tracks include the death/thrash precision guitar work of “Outbreak” and it’s early-Torture Squad ‘Pandemonium’ style blasting verses that blend into sharp melodic riffs.  The pit-ready riffs of “Circling the Drain” that’d feel just at home on a Municipal Waste or 00’s Sodom record. I’d highly recommend this to fans of modern thrash metal, death/thrash and folks who grew up on Razorback Records style retro thrash. Support and encourage independent musicians like Tom Reynolds/Foul Body Autopsy by buying his stuff and don’t hesitate to send praise/feedback instead of just skipping along like a fairweather dolt.

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Artist Foul Body Autopsy
Type Album
Released March 24, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Foul Body Autopsy on Facebook
Genres

Slushy bowels ripped out. 3.25/5.0

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