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Foul Body Autopsy - Shawdows Without Light - Part 1 Award winner

Foul Body Autopsy
Shadows Without Light - Part 1
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 13 November 2021, 4:25 PM

It’s not often that I get the opportunity to review a band that I’ve had the pleasure of watching live, but my luck has changed. Just last month, I witnessed the crushing talents of FOUL BODY AUTOPSY, the solo project and brainchild of Tom Reynolds, play at The Lab in Northampton (UK) whilst supporting FOETAL JUICE, and was blown away by his flawless performance. Imagine my delight when “Shadows Without Light – Part One”, the first of a trilogy of Tom’s personal musings about loss and grief, came across my desk for me to review.

Hailing from Leicestershire, UK, Tom is a well-respected, gifted musician in the UK underground, and showcases his talents with an endearing humbleness that is as infectious as it is mesmerising. Listening to his latest release, “Shadows Without Light – Part One”, the same authenticity is mimicked as in his live performances, which simply filled my soul from the get-go. The release is split into three parts overall, analysing each segment of the grieving process; part one explores depression after the loss of a loved one, part two will showcase anger, part three will represent acceptance, all components of grief that we’ll all inevitably endure at some stage in our life. This release focuses on part one, with three very different interpretations of the same track, metaphorically showcasing, in my opinion, alternate facets to Tom’s internalised grief, providing three separate outpourings, as if exploring different versions of the same emotion. Tom’s ability to craft a sound that so expertly demonstrates the rawest aspects of the human psyche, specifically pertaining to his own personal experience of loss, and deliver a kaleidoscope of emotion through sonics, is fascinating.

“Shadows Without Light – Part One” lends itself to being a cathartic channel, one that provides introspective dissection of the rawest components of grief, whilst equally providing soulful exploration with immeasurable pain as the backbone to the track. FOUL BODY AUTOPSY create a composition that explores each of these aspects, providing a dark descent into the mindset of grief, through forceful, frantic thrash-style riffs, pulsating drums, with carefully placed blastbeats to enhance embittered moments, pulling down the heartsore and heavy with melodicism that effortlessly melts through, yet still cuts sharp like a knife. It’s fair to say that the track is relentless in its four and half minutes, masterfully conveying sonic body blows, mixed with a blend of devastatingly evocative lyrics that so intensely cerebrally penetrate.

It’s bittersweet that the scourge of life’s most traumatic aspect can help to create something as immensely beautiful as FOUL BODY AUTOPSY’s triumphant “Shadows Without Light – Part One”; even the track title so cleverly wrenches with its allusion to death. The synth remix of the track omits any of the lyrical sensitivity, and it’s a far cry from the original death metal cut, yet it’s not diluted, it’s, well, different. It almost harks to the “game over” music of a bygone arcade game, you can’t help but feel that this is something very personal to Tom, as if he’s displayed a piece of his soul. The synth remix is a great opening for the hybrid version of “Shadows Without Light – Part One”, which is a clever amalgamation of aspects of the original track and the synth version. It’s a combination that works well, especially layered with pained vocals, and bookends this release perfectly, offering yet another dimension to the journey of emotional turmoil.

“Shadows Without Light – Part 1” isn’t a traditional death metal release, it’s intended to be a fusion of soundscapes that provide a solid introduction into the mindset of personal grief. The three-track exploration unveils the darkest depths of the soul, with the original version providing intensely thought-provoking moments that simultaneously perforate and penetrate. Understanding that the trilogy will explore other avenues of emotional anguish, likely with a more definitive direction in sub-genre, this is an enthralling release for those who appreciate an artist pushing genre boundaries and one they will respect and will want to explore further.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Shadows Without Light – Part 1
2. Shadows Without Light – Part 1 (Synth Remix)
3. Shadows Without Light – Part 1 (Hybrid Remix)
Tom Reynolds – Vocals, all instrumentals and composition
Record Label: Independent


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