This Elegy, His Autopsy
posted on 8/2005 By:
Y’know how it seems like some bands have that one album that changes everything for them without really changing that much at all? Well, this might be the one for Beecher. This Manchester-based collective delivers their sixth release here, and to be perfectly honest, it’s not a huge deviation from their previous work. Thing is, critics such as I have been rightly cumming their pants over this band for years without managing to really bring them to the attention of the greater metal and hardcore community, and Beecher has been languishing in middle-tier noisecore limbo. With any luck, though, all that’s about to come to an end, ‘cause with This Elegy, His Autopsy, Beecher have delivered a blow of such force and intelligence that in a just world they would be rocketed to the forefront of…well, it’s not easy to say exactly what subgenre this really falls into, but suffice to say it’s deserving of your attention.
I did mention noisecore, and one would not be entirely remiss in labeling Beecher as such, but it just ain’t that simple, maaan. Those who have heard the band before will know what to expect; the band produce an eclectic breed of heaviness that is rooted in, but not dominated by, busy and dissonant metalcore. Stylistically, their basic sound is technical and complex while remaining eminently listenable and even catchy. It’s (somehow) equal parts Anata, Every Time I Die, and Botch, but such base comparisons are kinda missing the point. What’s important is that Beecher’s songwriting is governed by a sense of fluid melodic creativity that pushes their sound far beyond simple metalcore. Songs like “It’s Good Weather for Black Leather,” “Man the Traps,” and “Knight the Arsonist” seethe and shudder with oscillating, whirling rage, but the highlights of This Elegy, His Autopsy come in the moments of progressive, almost story-like songwriting that sometimes arcs over multiple songs at a time. Take, for example, the epic trifecta that kicks off with “Not Guilty.” This first song delivers murderous, trudging sludge-metal comparable to vitriolic compatriots Charger before fading into a brief ambient drone. Said drone then gives way to the urgently melodic rock of “…And On the Day That He Became A Human Plumb Line,” whose tense atmosphere is finally obliterated by the grindcore raving of “Psycho Galvanic Skin Response.” Later on, the suitably arctic and airy guitar work of “The Biting Cold” serves as a massive atmospheric buildup for the ripping but oh-so-sublime opening blastbeat of “I Won’t Miss or Be Missed.” When that track’s considerable energy is finally spent (listen to those melodies, dammit!), a cliché but mercifully brief noise interlude serves as a bridge to closing polyrhythmic march of “Reach Up to the Gods.” It’s difficult to describe the gravity Beecher has established here; crushing without downtuning or chugga, emotive without the slightest hint of emo saccharine, the band has genuinely created something unclassifiable and extraordinarily noteworthy. In short, they’re no ordinary ‘noisecore’ band. They even have a goddamn nigh-perfect Kurt Ballou production. Talk about firing on all cylinders.
It’ll truly be a tragedy if This Elegy, His Autopsy is overshadowed by some of the bigger late-summer releases (I’m lookin’ at you, Opeth), because it’s one hell of an album. Beecher have paid their dues, and putting out six releases in four years is no mean feat. It’s high time that this band receives some of the recognition they so richly deserve, so do them and yourself a favor by picking this one up. Now, if only the rank-and-file metal schmoes would catch on…
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