Autopsy is a death metal band, founded in 1987 in the United States by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler. They disbanded in 1995, but reunited in 2009.
Autopsy was formed in August 1987 by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler, shortly after Reifert's departure from Death. The band recorded a demo that year, Demo '87, before Danny Coralles joined in 1988 immediately prior to the recording of their second demo, Critical Madness, and along with Reifert and Cutler, would be a constant in the band's lineup. The band signed to Peaceville Records and released their debut album, Severed Survival in 1989. These early recordings featured a straightforward thrash-influenced death metal style in a similar vein to Scream Bloody Gore era Death (Reifert was Death's drummer on that album), but the band adopted a slower, doom metal influenced sound for their next release, the 1990 Retribution for the Dead EP. The next full-length, Mental Funeral, continued in this style and has since been cited by many other death metal musicians (particularly in the Swedish scene) as particularly influential. Having completed a successful European tour soon after Mental Funeral, the band reentered the studio to record the Fiend for Blood EP, which was followed by their third full-length, Acts of the Unspeakable, which featured shorter songs and a more grindcore influenced sound. A difficult US tour in 1993 led to the decision to disband Autopsy after the recording of a final album.Shitfun, released in early 1995, was heavily influenced by hardcore punk and would prepare fans for Abscess, previously a side project of Danny Coralles and Chris Reifert which would become their main band after Autopsy's demise.
Autopsy was featured in the 2005 music documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey when the film's narrator and star, Sam Dunn read aloud a verse from the band's song "Charred Remains". Frontman Chris Reifert contributed a recipe for Mummified Jalapeño Bacon Bombs to Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook, by Annick Giroux (Bazillion Points Books, ISBN 978-1-935950-00-4).
After several years of speculation regarding an Autopsy reunion, and denial of the possibility, the band members briefly reunited in September 2008 to record two new tracks for the special edition of their 1989 debut Severed Survival. They later reconvened to the Maryland Deathfest in 2009. After Abscess broke up in June 2010, Autopsy immediately announced that they had permanently reunited. They released The Tomb Within EP in September 2010, Macabre Eternal in 2011, Born Undead DVD in 2012, The Headless Ritual in 2013 and Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves in 2014.
Along with fellow Bay Area band Possessed and Reifert's previous group Death (which Chuck Schuldiner relocated to Reifert's Bay Area hometown of Concord in 1986), Autopsy have been considered a pioneering band in the death metal and death/doom genres. Early genre stalwarts like Entombed, Dismember, Gorefest, Immolation, Cannibal Corpse and Deicide have all credited Autopsy as an influence in their sound.