I have been patiently awaiting the release of this album since the last EP Autopsy had put out (hoping for a new record at the time), even more so when I caught wind of a new full-length. New Autopsy full-length? OH HELL YES. One of the most ardent practitioners of old-school and filthy metal of death is back with an absolute vengeance. Macabre Eternal is a lesson in REAL death metal, made by some of the most well-known founding fathers of the genre. There is no sparkling production, pointless shred-wankery or contrived slam/breakdown riffing; this is absolute terror from the olde guard.
Hammering drums, hand-banging riffage, scathing bass and tortured vokills are all you need and all you will get from Macabre Eternal. This is classic Autopsy in every way, fear not any bizarre experimentation, this album was cut straight from the late 80s/early 90s death metal cloth. The closest thing to experimentation on this album is the semi-acoustic break on the epic 'Bridge of Bones'. This is not happy, loving acoustic work; this is more straight-up audio terror. The acoustic section is far more haunting than uplifting, there is no alleviation from the cavernous dungeon of death. The vocals are something to note as well, while not a drastic change, there is a bit more of a screamed/smeared roar than a direct grunt. All the while, the somewhat new vocal style fits the songwriting perfectly. Another major note is the grandiose epic known only as "Sadistic Gratification". There is a very dark, almost doom-y vibe to most of the song; complete with dirty, yet oddly mournful guitar riffing. Plodding in an almost funeral march type of way, the spoken word vocals compliment the sorrowful vibe of the song, without question.
The album's production is very clear with plenty of breathing room for the instruments and is thankfully not compressed to complete death. Just enough dirt and grime on the production to remind the new kiddies that death metal is not meant to be pretty, in any way, shape of form.
All in all, a masterful return to form for the immortal Autopsy. Flawlessly executed metal of death, made to bury new-school idiots, poseurs and fly-by-night hipsters in a twelve-foot grave with nothing but concrete above the coffin. True death metal in every sense of the word. Do NOT miss this album, especially if you are one of the few who think death metal (real death metal that is) is dead. Prepare to be proven wrong and flayed alive by Macabre Eternal.