Forget the Mudvayne/HELLYEAH connection, the selling point of the debut Audiotopsy album on Napalm Records is easily the return of Skrape vocalist Billy Keeton. Don’t get me wrong, hearing Mudvayne/HELLYEAH guitarist Greg Tribbett and Mudvayne drummer Matt McDonough thrash together in an outfit more fitting their talents is definitely a plus but Keeton’s distinct vocals pushes this project to new highs.
Not a supergroup, not a gimmick. It’s just Audiotopsy, baby!
Natural Causes could easily be classified as “Skrape Mach 2” because of Keeton’s unmistakable gruff delivery but at its roots, the album is just the purest slab of groove metal you can deliver to your earholes in 2015. From the undeniable rallying cry of “Headshot” through to the slow build of “Frozen Scars”, Natural Causes offers something for fans of all the members previous outfits yet so much more.
In between, Audiotopsy deliver even more memorable tunes and some instant bangers like “LYLAB” and its chorus of “Love You Like A Bitch, Baby!” which should be an immediate hit on the floor. “Swim” is almost a dirge with McDonough’s cymbals crashing like waves and meshing with Tribbett’s guitar and Perry Stern’s bass hum while “The Calling” is this alt rock throwback/hard rock radio classic and easily a song that will draw in fans unfamiliar with MudSkrapeYEAH.
If you want fast, then the end of Natural Causes definitely delivers. “Distorted” features Tribbett’s rapid fire riffs and McDonough’s staccato attacks accenting Keeton’s vicious wail while “Darken The Rainbow” is just a headbangers delight.
Natural Causes is out through Napalm Records on October 2nd. Pre-orders are up now. Head over here to get yours.