California death metal thugs Autopsy have come back strong in the last couple of years. Their 2010 EP The Tomb Within was a five-song, 20-minute blast of punky grindcore with loose drumming, ridiculously catchy guitar riffs, and hoarse but comprehensible vocals. Macabre Eternal is more ambitious -- 12 songs in 65 minutes, including the inexplicably drawn-out, 11-minute epic "Sadistic Gratification" -- and more musically complex than the EP, but it's still Autopsy; they haven't become progressive death metal or anything. Song titles like "Always About to Die," "Dirty Gore Whore," and "Seeds of the Doomed" reveal their not-so-hidden intentions, which are to make listeners' heads bang and, somewhat more surprisingly, to inspire wild fits of air guitar. There are riffs on this record that have a catchiness extreme metal hasn't exhibited in decades, and the solos squeal with an untamable and infectious energy. Death metal used to be fun, and the members of Autopsy remember. The drum sound, as on the EP and on all previous Autopsy releases, is extremely primitive and boxy, sounding indebted to punk and even '70s hard rock more than the precise clicking and clacking of much modern death metal. It, along with other factors, gives the music a human feeling that makes it all the more appealing -- this album could have been recorded live in the studio. Fans of old-school death metal will find Macabre Eternal to be an exciting reminder of the genre's earliest days.
AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman