One-man death metal is a lot less common than one-man black metal is. This is a not a comment that really has any relevance to this review, I suppose, but there we are.
Okay, so Fetal Autopsy has 50 minutes of stocky, muscular death metal. Underground, brutal death metal is usually a lot faster than this and usually has shorter songs, so it’s interesting to see Fetal Autopsy doing something a bit different. The approach on Backwoods Bloodshed is more mid-paced, with an emphasis on heaviness, steamrolling riffs and an old-school vibe.
Also non-standard for this kind of thing are the other ideas strewn throughout the album – little snatches of inspiration, and even some female vocals. It all makes for a slightly unexpected listen if you were coming to the album with certain expectations, and it’s great to see the wider-palette of the brains-behind-the-outfit being expanded as he sees fit and used well.
The songs are well-thought out and well-written, with a clear love for the style that doesn’t prevent the band’s sole member from thinking outside of the box on occasion. It’s great to hear.
Also; I must say that I really, really like the vocals on this album. The singer’s growls are extremely satisfying, having a granite-like quality as if tectonic plates are scraping against each other. High-pitched screams are also used here and there, but it’s the deathgrowls that really hit the spot for me.
Another complaint with a lot of one-man stuff, even in 2016, is a relatively poor production. Thankfully, that’s not an issue on Backwoods Bloodshed; the album sounds strong, thick, and crushing.
Brutality, heavy grooves, macabre auras and dark atmosphere, all wrapped up with good ideas and strong delivery; Backwoods Bloodshed is an unexpected treat. I love death metal in all its myriad styles, and it’s great to hear something like this – so familiar in all of the right ways, yet still striving to do its own thing and make its own mark.
Extremely highly recommended.