Review Summary: Can someone please get Chris Reifert a cough drop?
It'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 fu
cking 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 shi
t 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.