September 14, 2011 | , | 4

Autopsy, Macabre Eternal

Autopsy: Macabre Eternal

Autopsy roared back onto the death metal scene with 2010’s stellar EP, The Tomb Within, a brief, yet exciting glimpse of what had made the band so legendary and what we slobbering fools could expect on their next full-length. Released earlier this year, Macabre Eternal sees a sickening combination of old-school gore and sludgy doom along with some of the more modern elements that the EP hinted at. Chris Reifert and crew stomp through steaming mounds of Mental Funeral and Acts of the Unspeakable that provide the twitching, exposed backbone for the band’s first studio album since 1995. And at just around 65 minutes in length, the twelve songs on Macabre Eternal are anything but droning filler — prepare for vicious, maniacal vocals and off-kilter sludgy death metal that only these dude could pull off.

“Hand of Darkness” explodes from the onset with a doom fueled death metal attack of unrelenting drums and fetid riffs. Throw in Reifert’s scraping and off-the-rails vocal attack and you’ve got a classic Autopsy track. If that opening song doesn’t have you psyched for the rest of this disc, just turn off your stereo now — you have no business listening to this album. The completely unravelled mental abuse that is “Dirty Gore Whore” has one of the sickest leads on the album as “Always About to Die” pulls you deep into it’s dark, groove-fueled folds of sludgy doom and despair. This trifecta of early tracks reminds instantly of why you sick bastards fell in love with this band to begin with. The only difference, perhaps, is a less muddy production. Autopsy still know how to bring the sloppy gore.

The title track is unfortunately one of the more pedestrian tracks on the album, though it’s still pretty solid in it’s own right with a galloping rhythm and disjointed vocals — see “Deliver Me from Sanity” for more of Reifert’s completely bonkers growling, gurgling delivery. You certainly can’t miss the doomfest that is “Seeds of the Doomed” which slowly builds to a solid gallop and memorable guitar work. There’s a bit of an acoustic interlude during “Bridge of Bones,” but it’s meager attempt to lend some airiness to the song is short lived and violently crushed with rumbling bass and more psychotic vocals.

“Bludgeoned and Brained” leads into one of the best three-song combinations I’ve heard in some time. The track is full to the cracked skull with rumbling, bestial groove. It’s the 11 minute long “Sadistic Gratification” that sees the band play with a more dramatic song structure and musical experimentation. It’s not the greatest song on the album, but even it flies by quickly despite it’s weighty length. Haunting melodies, rapid fire drums, thick sludgy bass and even a little spoken ramblings from Reifert all come together for the epic track. While “Sadistic Gratification” probably would have been completely acceptable to end Macabre Eternal with, the guys decide to fully remind you why they’re some of the best in the business with the manically crushing “Spill My Blood.” The closing song brings the album to a solid finale with a mixture of bruising riffs and blasting mayhem that is all Autopsy.

It’s been quite some time in the making, but Macabre Eternal certainly proves that these guys haven’t lost a step. The production value of the album may have been cleaned up, but the psychotic ramblings and socio-pathic themes of old school Autopsy certainly abound throughout the 65 minutes of pure, unadulterated gory enjoyment the album has to offer.