AUTOPSY - Macabre Eternal CD
Genre: Death Metal
Last year I raved about their comeback CDEP The Tomb Within (yeah that was me) and was looking forward to this full on reunion full length. Well technically it's only three fourths of a reunion since it's the three original members: Chris Reifert, Eric Cutler and Danny Corrales with Joe Allan aka: Joe Trevisano (of ABSCESS and VON fame) on bass. Now sure it's been a long time since AUTOPSY put out a full length (1995) but it's not like the guys were toiling away at regular day jobs all the time. If you're reading this then I don't need to go into that history. But all the same it took me quite a few listens to get into this new one and afterwards I'm calling it a decent effort. That's if you consider Shitfun their worst, Severed Survival their best and those few in between ones decent. Macabre Eternal is not a repeat or a rehash of their past efforts but instead it's almost like a best of past moments if that makes any sense. You listen to this and hear their distinct brutality, the off kilter style they've always possessed and the ventures into death doom. Yeah it's all here but cleaner sounding as if someone took a clean rag to wipe away the classic filth.
I wouldn't say this release is perfect. It just has some decent highlights that will not disappoint any fans of old. For example "Hand Of Darkness" kicks things off and from the get go it's explosive especially hearing Reifert singing like a possessed madman. The song features a great solo that jumps out of nowhere and slices through everything. The next cut "Dirty Gore Whore" is more of an eclectic death metal departure with blazing speed matched with a completely off kilter structure like in a ABSCESS type of way. Hey at least it's not industrial right and the vocals are pretty sick. "Always About to Die" is death doom which crawls out at you like some murderous fog till mid point then it cranks out a dirty SABBATH groove until finally breaking loose with some speed and insane soloing, by Cutler and Coralles, as if a caged monster has broken loose. The cut ends as it started but I considered it one of my favorite tracks on here.
After a few lackluster cuts there's "Seeds Of The Doomed" another death doom track that bleeds SABBATH and believe or not some actual melody. It's the surprise cut on Macabre Eternal since it's something they've never attempted before, the melody that is. "Born Undead" is another explosive cut reminiscent of days gone by for this band. It has this simple yet aggressive riff that carries you through to the speed break and intense soloing commences near the end. Reifert sounds like blood is erupting from his mouth as he sings. I love that vocal sound. He continues it on "Bludgeoned And Brained" another cut which starts at a fast pace but quickly slows down to a snail's crawl starting with just Joe Allan's bass playing and then pure doomish torture. And speaking of torture there's the epic and long "Sadistic Gratification" which throws everything this band is capable at you plus some eerie doom/goth moments early on culminating near the end with some woman screaming as if being tortured. Yeah that one will never make it on the radio. Actually I believe that one should have been left off of Macabre Eternal and released as a special edition single. It certainly would have shortened up this dink's length which by and large is too long but still a welcome return.