Audiotopsy – “Natural Causes” (Napalm Records)
Mudvayne. Hellyeah. Skrape. Three bands that in their time have made their name. When what made those bands special then is now combined Audiotopsy is the resultant creative force. Consisting of Skrape’s vocalist Billy Keeton, Mudvayne/Hellyeah guitarist Greg Tribbett, bass player Perry Stern, and Mudvayne drummer Matthew McDonough, Audiotopsy takes the funky mellowness of Skrape and rolls in monster grooves with a heavy back beat to produce alt / grunge with some serious balls man! Despite the proggy album cover I didn’t feel this was reflected in the material, which maintained a deep, somewhat emo vibe despite Keeton’s raw, drawling vocals even when backed some crooning harmonies. However, I can see the catchiness of Audiotopsy’s hooky riffs and singalongs appealing to a cross section of listeners out there, and not necessarily just fans of those aforementioned feeder bands. True to their name, Audiotopsy have succeeded in their postmortem examination of what made their music great. From the dark, brooding ‘Love You Like A Bitch’ to grunge screamo noise of ‘Swim’ to the trippy darkness of ‘Frozen Scars’ with its mean clanging guitars and its heavy atmosphere, “Natural Causes” is a deep dive into 90s music made once again into a contemporary gargantuan beast!