Autopsy: 'Macabre Eternal'

Autopsy

Macabre Eternal (Peaceville)

Autopsy didn't invent death metal, but the band's 1991 album Mental Funeral—a foul, pungent, lurching mass of brute force topped off by stomach-churning psychedelic guitars—is still one of the heaviest, most forbidding metal albums ever released.

The band never reached such heights (or lows) again, and broke up after 1995's Shitfun. Now Autopsy returns with a reunion album that drummer/singer Chris Reifert repeatedly said would never happen, and if Macabre Eternal is not as good as Mental Funeral, it is still a crushing round of old-school mayhem. From the grinding bottom-end sludge of "Bludgeoned and Brained" to the reckless high-speed riffing of "Dirty Gore Whore," the band—original members Reifert, Eric Cutler (guitar), and Danny Corrales (guitar), plus new bassist Joe Trevisano—recreates the messy, blood-splattered wildness of death metal's early days, as if the last two decades of technical one-upmanship had never happened. Even the odd dirge "Sadistic Gratification," way too long at more than 11 minutes, feels like a throwback to a teenage rehearsal room in the late '80s.