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Foul Body Autopsy – Consumed By Black Thoughts

Foul Body Autopsy
Consumed By Black Thoughts
by Brian Lowrie at 31 October 2020, 12:47 PM

I can’t imagine a role in a musical project that’s more tedious yet liberating than being the sole member, especially in the context of live performances. Not having to butt heads with, well, other butt-heads, must be so empowering as there is no need to compromise on your vision for your creations. Foul Body Autopsy (named after a song by Necrophagist), is a one-man project from Leicaster, England, started by Tom Reynolds, who has been writing and performing live (all by his lonesome, by the way; he performs guitars and vocals live, and the rest is backtracked) since 2010. The newest effort from the band is called Consumed By Black Thoughts; while the project has no issues addressing societal issues as evidenced by the previous records, this EP focuses on the issue of mental health in specific for lyrical themes.

When I first saw the cover for this EP, I was pretty giddy; The aesthetic of the logo and the art style reminded me of MySpace-era deathcore (hell, even the band name inspires thoughts of disgusting gutturals and breakdowns), and I was halfway hoping I was going to be right, as I feel it’s been too long since we’ve had a band really break through in that style. Having never listened to Foul Body Autopsy, I was really shocked to hear the sound was more of a love-letter to melodic death metal and metal-core. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, as the end result sounds a bit more spontaneous than other bands that have \[over]saturated this subgenre. All 5 songs feel complete with their own identity, yet don’t stray too far from the beaten path. Vicious Cycles (Feeding Off Themselves) , and all other tracks on this EP, starts with a dialogue sample which relates to the overall theme of mental health; this song, however, struts in a more 80’s metal influence a la Judas Priest, but with a modern death metal vocalist. When Like A Phantom Of The Heart comes on, it’s easy to see the directional change into something closer to Dark Tranquillity (specifically the Character-era); but, again, this is by no means a bad thing, as this song specifically strikes a personal chord with me. However, where the song falls short in my opinion is the vocals. This isn’t from the vocals being bad, but the lower-mid vocal style doesn’t contrast well with the tonality this song is trying to convey. My Liberation In Death is one of the stronger songs on the album, as there is a good amount of branching out in the instrumentation, with some high-risk, high-reward atmospheric melodies that certainly pay off.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the title track tends to be one of, if not the best songs on any album. However, Consumed By Black Thoughts feels a little scatter-brained; as great as some of these riffs are, they don’t flow with each other at all, leaving the entire track to feel as though some ideas should have been explored more in depth. Trapped In The Shadow Of Fear, the album’s final track, retraces to that morose sounding melodic death metal sound. Closing out the album with the arguably more forgettable of the two tracks in this style is a tad disheartening, but the ring-out will leave you curious enough to investigate the next album.

Ultimately, this album did not have the strongest first impression, but it does grow on me with each listen, and the subconscious bitterness I retained for not getting what I initially expected has died down tremendously. Even though I find this specific genre of music to be tiring and, most of the time, rather dull, Tom Reynolds should be considered a front-runner for how this subgenre can evolve. If there are a couple of critiques I can make, I would really like to hear some guitar solos at least on a couple of songs, and as stated previously, some of the ideas were great but not fleshed out enough. The production value is top-notch, especially for being self-produced. I’d recommend everyone give this EP a shot; it may surprise you, as it certainly did for me.


Songwriting : 7
Musicianship : 7
Memorability : 6
Production : 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Vicious Cycles (Feeding Off Themselves)
2. Like A Phantom Of The Heart
3. My Liberation In Death
4. Consumed By Black Thoughts
5. Trapped In The Shadow of Fear
Lineup:
Tom Reynolds – Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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