AudiotopsyAudiotopsy may be a new name, but in it there are two former members of Mudvayne (one who was also in Hellyeah) and one member of Skrape. Initially this piqued my interest given that I thought it might contain Ryan Martine, the bassist who was in Mudvayne who in my mind is highly underrated and often overlooked. This wasn’t the case as the drum and guitar component of the iconic Nu-Metal outfit are the contribution. Looking to make a name for themselves, let’s see if this did go down through natural causes.

It has a real nostalgic vibe to it. The heavy detuned groove orientated approach, minimalistic traditional lead playing and more rhythmic and chord change melodies provide the melodic hook to the music. It really is like Mudvayne circa 2003-2005 when they were transitioning from the Nu-Metal days of L.D 50 and adopting a slightly wider and more accessible sound whilst still keeping the heaviness. Vocally, it comes across as more metalcore, Bloodsimple spring to mind for a similar comparison style wise and musically, this combined with the sound creates a hybrid of Nu-Metal and Metalcore. On paper most people would cringe at this, but I don’t mind the looks of it so far.

“Headshot” opens the album with its chunky guitars, deep bass and slightly strained vocal stylings and it is a simple song in terms of its structure, but it does have that nostalgia kick to it for the generation who liked this kind of music – it has a real sense of familiarity to it. “All We Know”, “LYLAB” and “The Calling” keep this nostalgia feel to them also, in a way easing the listener in, especially with the switches from clean to heavy chunky distortion when going from verse to chorus too.

“H2O (interlude)” is where the band begins to find their own voice. Granted it is a pointless filler which merely serves as the intro to “Swim” which is the real track. Moody, simplistic structure, excellent use of sound dynamics and some melody all come together to work well, but it’s not really a stand out track as such. “Disguise Your Devil” on the other hand is. A real groove laden heavy alternative metal assault with strong vocals, it serves as the highpoint of the album and the following tracks don’t quite seem to match up to the standard set by this one as the album eventually fizzles out as it draws to a close with another pointless sound effect based track in “Natural Causes (outro)”.

On the whole, this album could have delivered more than what it initially promised and it’s a shame. I really like the nostalgia kick it gives at times but it really lacks that spark which brings it to life or that one piece which draws it all together. It’s not a very exciting album and in all honesty, if a real autopsy were to be performed on this release, the cause of death wouldn’t be from natural causes, but from dullness.

(4/10 Fraggle)