AUTOPSY has always held this odd cult status with the circle of Death Metal fans I have circumnavigated. Even with their fairly early demise in the mid-90s, their albums have always been held in this light that only the ‘expert elite’ of Death Metal fans understands. This is the reason that AUTOPSY’s comeback album, “Macabre Eternal” has hung eerily in the air. Could the band still hold up that status over a decade later?
To be honest with you faithful readers, I’m not all that familiar with AUTOPSY’s back catalog or to the degree of which the rest of their music will compare to this release. If “Macabre Eternal” is anything like the rest though, count me in as a new fan. This comeback release is an old school slab of solid Death if I ever heard one.
Pounding their way with mid-tempo bashers and long-winded song structures, AUTOPSY crafts a mature and desolate sounding release with “Macabre Eternal." There is an atmosphere to this album that brings the heavy to their music without actually having to write anything heavy or down tuning their instrument (like most modern acts do). The long songs, partnered with a great variety of faster frantic tracks like “Bridge Of Bones,” to their longer mid-tempo paced material like “Deliver Me From Sanity,” just give a wide range of style that all fits perfectly under this dirty and gruesome aura.
The performances are more than stellar to the writing and general style of the record. We get some duel vocal work from the drummer and guitarist with the drummer doing the majority of the vocal hissing, snarling, and guttural growling. The general dirty sound of the guitar riffs pound out with quick-wristed intensity, matching the under-power of the bass work and general foundational layering of the drums to an efficient flow. Although I’m not going to claim any one of these members are the best at their instruments, their flow as a unit and chemistry together is undeniable for this record. As a whole, they overcome their parts.
“Macabre Eternal” is simply an effective release of old school Death Metal ideology that is performed to near perfection in its grimy glory by a massively underrated band. For fans of the genre (or the band for that matter), this is a must-have release that reminds us just why Death Metal was such a pivotal force to reckon with in its height.
Songs to check out: “Hand Of Darkness," “Macabre Eternal," “Bridge Of Bones."
(Online August 17, 2011)