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Autopsy - "Macabre Eternal" (CD)

Autopsy - "Macabre Eternal" CD cover image

"Macabre Eternal" track listing:

1. Hand of Darkness (5:19)
2. Dirty Gore Whore (5:45)
3. Always About to Die (5:15)
4. Macabre Eternal (4:39)
5. Deliver Me from Sanity (4:24)
6. Seeds of the Doomed (5:26)
7. Bridge of Bones (4:46)
8. Born Undead (4:00)
9. Sewn into One (6:31)
10. Bludgeoned and Brained (4:09)
11. Sadistic Gratification (11:33)
12. Spill My Blood (3:40)

Reviewed by on May 30, 2011

"Both long time fans and metalheads new to Autopsy should earmark this one as a fine example of old school death metal produced with a modern aesthetic that’s a real headbanging killer."

The demise of filthy death metal act Abscess may have left many fans of Chris Reifert and co. severely disappointed, but it also opened the doorway for Autopsy to rise from the dead and slaughter the masses yet again. Back with the band’s first full-length album since 1995, “Macabre Eternal” is pretty much everything fans of old school death metal could ever want, and it even throws in influences from other styles that keep interests running high for those who wouldn’t normally dig the style.

After recently coming off the oft-times bizarre Abscess to return to Autopsy, some comparisons between the two are going to be inevitable. Even though Autopsy is basically the quintessential old school death metal act, “Macabre Eternal” isn’t nearly as ugly or hard to digest as Abcess tended to be. There are plenty of side treks in the music that may draw some parallels however, such as hypnotic or off-kilter guitar work, sudden bouts of shredding solos that come out of nowhere, and plenty of vocal changes. “Bridge of Bones” throws in a completely unexpected acoustic guitar segment, while harsh death growls continue on anyway, in an extreme juxtaposition that’s daring and pays off well.

The vocal work is one of the album’s highlights as front man Reifert sounds like an absolutely unhinged lunatic barely under control, and that’s a good thing. Deep death growls abound of course, but crusty punk yells and insane, demonic gurgles are just as likely to happen at any given point, along with many other variations.

The production on “Macabre Eternal” is also worth mentioning, as it keeps up the old school charm while still being clear and fairly crisp. The mix isn’t incredibly loud or overbearing either, which is a marked departure from a lot of modern death metal bands.

The only negative aspects to be found are issues with the genre itself (which some many not even see as problems), such as an occasional sparse and barren sound, or the overuse of blast beats. The album is also a tad on the long side for death metal of this particular variety. Overall, each song has loads of variation, however, while still being as brutal as would be expected from a band like Autopsy. Both long time fans and metalheads new to Autopsy should earmark this one as a fine example of old school death metal produced with a modern aesthetic that’s a real headbanging killer.

Highs: Truly crazy vocals and song variations, great old school death metal sound

Lows: Longer than it needs to be, a few too many blast beats, and a few sparse segments that fall prey to standard death metal pitfall

Bottom line: Autopsy returns from the dead to slaughter everything in its path with top notch death metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)