"Absolute Hope Absolute Hell"

(eOne Music)

01. Absolute Hope Absolute Hell
02. Wither
03. Saltwound
04. Murder in the First
05. Storm Drains
06. Ghosts in the River
07. Mask Maker
08. Hollow Shell
09. Out to Sea
10. False Positive
11. Swing the Axe

RATING: 6/10

Deathcore, metalcore, tech grind, pick your label to put on New Jersey sextet FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY, in only seven years, this band has chewed up players as ravenously as they do their drop tuned chords. This year they got Joe Bodolato to replace departing vocalist Greg Wilburn as they release their third full-length, "Absolute Hope Absolute Hell".

Given how well FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY placed on Billboard’s U.S. Heat Seekers and U.S. Hard Rock charts for their 2013 album "Hellbound", eOne Music takes a second ride on this band and have instantly improved their rankings with "Absolute Hope Absolute Hell". Suffice it to say, FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY has a built-in audience that proves this ugly sound is far from dead, even if they, like most of their ilk, also continue to prove the metalcore breakdown is the most obnoxious invention since the Snuggie.

To be fair, these guys are technicians at what they do. The triple-guitar attack of Will Putney, Pat Sheridan and Tim Howley gives FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY opportunity to fill a lot of space, even if most of it is to supplement Shane Slade’s bass with hideously low tones. Josean Orta’s tempos vary from slow and laborious to a carpeting grind, and unfortunately, the band’s songwriting predictability stymies his outstanding performances.

These guys whirl more decorative guitar floaters than many of their contemporaries, which gives FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY’s music a sense of fragrance. It’s mind rape how many guitar parts on songs like "Mask Maker", "Saltwound", "Storm Drains", "Ghosts in the River", "Out to Sea" and the title track are really attractive. On the other hand, the repetitive scale shrieks get old fast, as do the goddamned breakdowns, which are overworked as early as the second track, "Wither".

FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY plays their methods to death (or deathcore, if you will), making "Absolute Hope Absolute Hell" an appropriate title. The music is disconsolate, Joe Bodolato’s screams are full of torment and there is a prevailing miasma, which conveys unhinged madness. Any anticipation this album will capitalize on its strengths, however, are squashed by clichés. There are so many ear-pleasing sections and occasionally clean vocals divvied by FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY that their redundant metalcore conventions turns "Absolute Hope Absolute Hell" into an absolute drag.


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