Review : Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
SputnikmusicIt's always hard to be subjective when listening to a band like Autopsy. On one hand you want to look at each album that a band comes out with on its own merits, since it is a stand alone art piece worthy to be judged based solely on what it brings to the table, but when that band is a band like Autopsy it's just too damn hard to keep their damn near classic offerings like Mental Funeral and Severed Survival out of the picture. In the early extreme metal scene it could be argued that Autopsy were the quintessential death metal band. They were raw, intense, and just fucking gnarly, but just like fellow fresh out of retirement 90's metallers Atheist, it's obvious that in Autopsy's time off as a band the gears began to rust. On Macabre Eternal the rustiest cog has to be Chris Reifert himself. He sounds like a shell of his former self. His once ferocious bark is now a hollow rasp that mars the whole of Macabre Eternal with its presence. Further exasperating it is the vocal production, in which the vocals are not only gratingly high in the mix, but also thickened with too much reverb, further muddying what's left of Reifert's shredded throat.
Musically, Autopsy are chugging along the same as ever. Macabre Eternal is about as throwback as you can get these days, which is admirable considering the shit heap of an album that Morbid Angel just tried to pass off to their long waiting fans, but at times it just feels phoned in. It's not that the guitar work isn't up to snuff or the drumming, which is noticeably less frenzied but still more than adequate, doesn't fit, it's more of a problem of stagnant ideas. This wouldn't be an issue if Macabre Eternal wasn't so damn long. Regardless of how strong of an opener “Hand of Darkness” is or how cool the acoustic parts are in “Bridge of Bones”, by the time the album reaches the halfway point in its over hour long journey it begins to drag like a big rig trailer hitched up to a Honda. It's a shame too, because there really are some standout moments on Macabre Eternal, but it works best on a song by song basis than as a whole, which is why their reunion EP The Tomb Within was so successful. Let's just hope that Macabre Eternal is a slight misstep on Autopsy's road back to the top, because if I wanted to hear a death metal band half ass their glory days as they drift further and further into mediocrity I'd just listen to Obituary....full text
OnemetalLegends. I’d like to leave it there, frankly – if you know anything at all about death metal, you’re more than aware of how essential Autopsy are to the entire scene – but Phil won’t let me write reviews containing only one word, the bully. So, I suppose I had better tell you a bit about Macabre Eternal. The only possible bad thing about this record’s existence is the fact that it sees the definite demise of Abscess, Reifert and co’s post-Autopsy outfit – their brand of hardcore punk-influenced death metal was pretty unique and just as important in its own way, but sadly overlooked by many. After years of Reifert denying that Autopsy would ever reform, they recorded two all-new tracks for the 2009 reissue of Severed Survival, causing a mass simultaneous erection among death metal fans of Guinness World Record scale and much talk about the possibility of more new material. Well, we got an EP last year – The Tomb Within – which it’s fair to say was far from the band’s best work, but given that the band had also promised us a full album I was cautiously optimistic that they’d see us right.
See us right is exactly what they did – Macabre Eternal is a masterful recap of everything that gave Autopsy their much-revered status. Death metal likes to think it has moved far beyond the primitive roar of the early scene, what with all the ‘gravity blasts’ and other technical fripperies it’s picked up along the way, but the fact remains that when you absolutely have to destroy a venue, old school is the one true way to do it and as possibly the overall masters of classic death metal, I’d lay money on Autopsy being high on anyone’s list of “bands most likely to liquidise punters”. Their brand of horror-soaked doomy battering set them apart in the early days and influenced a whole raft of bands that followed, but nobody does it quite like them still – there’s an innate humour laced through their stuff that a lot of their copiers miss altogether, almost as if they’ve taken it too seriously. I know, I know, shocker, right? As if death metal could EVER be accused of taking itself too seriously....full text
AngrymetalguyA brand new Autopsy album? Well tickle me Hellmo! Now, THESE guys are the very definition of old school death metal and founder, drummer and chief gurgler Chris Reifert got his start with the legendary band Death way, way back in 86′. After playing on the Death debut, Reifert went off to launch Autopsy and they were one of the first bands to market themselves as death metal. After several classic albums loaded with crusty death mixed with grinding doom riffs, Reifert called it a day so he could pursue his other band Abscess full time. After reuniting for their The Tomb Within EP in 2010, Reifert decided to fold Abscess and resurrect the mighty Autopsy and hence, we get Macabre Eternal, their first new album in fifteen long years. So, does it live up to their legendary status in the genre? Can it ever meet the huge expectations of long time fans? Is Rhapsody of Fire entirely made of cheese? Of course! It’s an instant classic and so, so fucking sick, you just have to hear it to understand.
Macabre Eternal wastes no time reminding you what Autopsy is all about. Opener “Hand of Darkness” explodes with that classic primitive, grinding death metal racket and packs a myriad of crude, ugly riffs and Reifert’s one-of-a-kind, deranged and unbalanced vocals. It’s as if this is the follow up to 91′s Mental Funeral and they sound just as angry, dangerous and hungry. Listen to the brilliantly frantic lead riff from “Dirty Gore Whore” and the way the song changes into a slow, grinding juggernaut, slithering along ominously. Enjoy the Trouble-caliber doom riffage leading off “Seeds of Doom.” During “Bridge of Bones” they even throw in an acoustic accompaniment as Reifert tries to cough up the biggest phlegm ball mankind has ever known. As if that isn’t enough, they grace us with an eleven minute ode to serial killing called “Sadistic Gratification” and damn, it really ends up working well (amazing riffs and solos throughout). Across all twelve tracks they consistently bring their A-game and show how old styled death is supposed to be done....full text
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