AUDIOTOPSY – Natural Causes 

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Napalm Records
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Released: 2015
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Audiotopsy-Natural Causes

Band line-up:

Greg Tribbett – Guitar
Matt McDonough – Drums
Billy Keeton – Vocals
Perry Stern – Bass

  1. Headshot
  2. All We Know
  3. LYLAB
  4. The Calling
  5. H2O (Interlude)
  6. Swim
  7. Disguise Your Devils
  8. Burn The Sky
  9. Distorted
  10. Darken The Rainbow
  11. Frozen Scars
  12. Natural Causes (Outro)

All We Know is easily recognisable as with its held back aggressive sound and scream style, throat scratching vocals it reminds me of Linkin Park from days of old. With the vocals matching the rhythm and pushing it forward you’ll find yourself moving along to the rhythm before you know it. It’s certainly not a song you would choose for a restful quite time but it is immediately easy to fall into this song. Overall an excellent choice for the first song.

The levels of aggression gather momentum as the album continues with the vocals adding a wonderful brutality to the overall sound. LYLAB is a very interesting beast as it mixes short sections of gentle sounds before suddenly throwing an even harder level of brutal at you with force, increasing the aggression. It’s a good example of the subtle variances in the sound that are layered to build upon each other.

Which is fitting with The Calling adding an element of relaxed funk to the guitars balancing off with the softer (though not soft) vocals, with a slight pulling back of the vocals later, catching the rhythm and holding it for a second or two. Again those subtle layers are very effective, balancing all the different elements, some which you have to really tune your ear to hear over everything else but they build together nicely.

Though I was somewhat perplexed by H2O (The Interlude) which is just that, about a minute and a half of running water. It does however work as a precursor to Swim which is very much restrained in comparison to the previous tracks. It pulls back completely on the openly aggressive stance of other songs and though by no means soft, it does portray a different side altogether.

Echoing back to the beginning of the album, Disguise Your Devils again reminds me strongly of Linkin Park, whilst breaking in the middle to maintain the softer side from the previous songs with a short slightly meditative break. If you’re looking for something much more straightforward then Burn The Sky should be a starting point.  Listen to it alongside All We Know as they have a similar simplicity and pushing rhythm that are easy to engage with.

Darken The Rainbow takes this and moves it a step further; increasing the speed and energy coming out from the vocals. For me it would be have been better for the following song to do the same and push it even more, leaving the album on a high. However, in line with the style of the album Frozen Scars pulls right back, with a languid vocal melody and speed. It maintains that slow rhythm throughout and for me could have done with more variance as after the previous few songs this just feel too slow and too sudden a restraint, and at just over six minutes it is long.

There is a good amount in this album for you to get our teeth into, but to me the end of the album lacks punch. Natural Causes (Outro) is nearly 4 minutes in length and it’s hard to get through it as though it again has the sound of running water, this time due to the effects it manages to sound as if you’re listening to someone peeing. I don’t understand this last track and for me it left the album on a bit of low, which is a shame as the album overall started anything but that.

Review by Rowena Lamb