Sometimes there are these bands that just play their music in the wrong period of time. You hear these rock bands that should have been playing alongside Thin Lizzy, for example, or there are the nu-metal bands that play their music nowadays, but who should have opened for bands like Korn. Audiotopsy is one of those bands, which was resurrected from the remains of ’90 nu metal band Mudvayne. A professional Audiotopsy on the matter came to one conclusion: ‘Natural Causes’.
2010, the year the nu-metal band Mudvayne went on hiatus. That’s where this story starts. From the mud spawned the super group Hellyeah, containing both Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett. The brilliantly bearded Tribbett then left the project, approached ex-Mudvayne drummer Matt McDonough, and seemed to have gotten Audiotopsy together. Say for yourself, it’s a pretty neat band name that matches well with their debut album title ‘Natural Causes’.
Some fast, heavy riffs open up the album introducing ‘Headshot’. An adrenaline fueled track that’s a very nice opener. The guitars sound very well produced, sometimes even a bit too perfect, if you know what I mean. It’s a bit artificial, a bit too smooth. Following is ‘All We Know’, a track that immediately reminds of the nineties. There’s a bit of P.O.D. in there, and quite a lot of Korn and Mudvayne, off course.
If a couple of tracks would have been released in the nineties, they could even have been a bit of a hit. For example, the foul mouthed ‘LYLAB’, love you like a bitch, would have made quite an impact in the original nu-metal scene. Unfortunately, two decades later all this has been done before and it feels like a waste of power and energy. The extreme smoothness of the production doesn’t help the band either.
Something that really bothered me when I was listening to the album is the whiny sound in ex-Skrape vocalist Billy Keeton’s voice. His raw, screaming vocals are very good and spot on, but his clean voice has a whining feel to it. Everything he sings is just not as powerful as it was, probably, intended. For example, ‘Swim’ is a pretty solid track, but is put down by Keeton, degrading it to a whiny little kid that wants to jump in the pool, but has to wait for his mom first.
In some ways, Audiotopsy’s ‘Natural Causes’ can be compared with the latest album by Coal Chamber, ‘Rivals’. It’s a comeback from the nineties nu-metal, with exactly the same way of playing it. But are we all waiting for a trip back to the past? Or do we want to move forward, taking the old and renewing it. Finding new ways of making old sound new? At least Audiotopsy has set out a path for themselves, but when will they stray from it and find new ways to reach their goal? We can only hope it’s not too late when they find out themselves.
Released: 2 October 2015
Record-label: Napalm Records
- All We Know
- The Calling
- H2O (Interlude)
- Disguise Your Devils
- Burn The Sky
- Darken The Rainbow
- Frozen Scars
- Natural Causes (Outro)