Thursday, December 22, 2011

12 Days of Christmetal: Macabre Eternal - Autopsy - 2011

Well, this is the shit. Death metal pioneers from way, way back, Autopsy resurrected in 2009 after a fifteen-year hiatus and the sound, as evidenced on their first full-length since reforming, Macabre Eternal, has aged in the best possible ways. It's crusty and ugly and contorted and crude - everything you need it to be. The riffs grind like the rotors on any vehicle my wife drives, the solos know no speed aside from overdrive and, from now on, Cookie Monster's vocalizations will be described as derivative of those of Chris Reifert, who has taken the gastrointestinal gurgle to operatic heights. Macabre Eternal is the very definition of old-school and, man, is it a fun record.

My death metal immersion is fairly amateur compared to fellow bloggers and fans but, even so, I am well aware that the intense gore subgenre is absolutely sprawling and, frankly, little of it does much for me. There are a number of practitioners, though, who balance the dismembered tongue perfectly within the punctured cheek and Autopsy are chief among those. Yes, if read aloud at Grandma's house during Christmas dinner the lyrics may well disturb but, to me, this is the aural equivalent of Peter Jackson's Dead Alive. By the time the sentient intestines are strangling any parytgoers not shredded by the lawnmower all you can do is laugh.

Macabre Eternal is a magnificent companion to Exhumed's spectacular All Guts, No Glory, also a notable "resurrection record" from 2011 (and a show I still wince over missing). It's got a great off-the-cuff feel and a warm, raw, meaty production devoid of the crisp, stark and cold elements of so many current metal records. Finally, it boasts a killer sleeve by Wes Benscoter of Divine Intervention fame. Macabre Eternal reminds you that while metal must always be heavy, it doesn't have to be so, you know, heavy.

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