Studio report: Autopsy

Photo by Raymond Ahner

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When Autopsy entered Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, on Super Bowl Sunday to record their comeback album Macabre Eternal, they didn’t have to worry about heavy expectations. The band’s EP The Tomb Within (review) was released last year to near universal praise, allowing them to focus on songwriting. They’d already spent time in the studio recording the EP and several bonus tracks, so it felt like home.

“Around the time of The Tomb Within, we could have cut a full-length record on the spot”, guitarist Eric Cutler said from Fantasy Studios after eight days of recording. “But the EP is nothing like the record. I guarantee you we saved the best stuff. Still, the EP was definitely a tune-up and helped us shake off the rust.”

Longtime fans can expect several treats on the hour-long album, including Autopsy’s first 10-plus minute song “Sadistic Gratification”. “It’s 11 minutes and 33 seconds of pure fucking sickness”, Cutler said. Vocalist/drummer Chris Reifert put aside the microphone on three tracks, allowing Cutler to show off his vocal chops.

“It feels really good, and that made it easy to do 12-hour days”, Cutler said. “Everybody is working for the same thing, and everybody wants the same result. We’re living for what we are doing, and our blood, sweat, and tears are going into this record. The long days are grueling, but it’s worth it because we love it. The feeling and vibe on this record is just right. It feels really heavy”.

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Cutler: “It’s going to be about 68 minutes of brutality”

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Fantasy, located close to the famous punk club 924 Gilman, offered much more polished and professional surroundings than what Autopsy experienced during their early years. “Abscess has recorded here before and had worked with engineer Adam Muñoz”, Cutler said. “So when it was time for us to record, we came here because the relationship just seemed natural. It all started with Adam working with Abscess in a different studio”.

Cutler and co. were also much more experienced musicians with a better grasp of craft. “We’re older, and we realize what we want now”, Cutler said. “When we were young, we just wrote death metal and shot from the hip. But it’s a little different now because we’re more professional and had a game plan coming in”.

Macabre Eternal will be mastered in the Bay Area in the next few weeks. Peaceville will release it in Europe in early June and in the United States several weeks later.

“Our fans can expect no less than our best, the best we have to offer”, Cutler said. “If you like Autopsy, you will think this is the best”.

What about skeptics who claim that all bands say that about comeback albums? “I understand that. But we aren’t doing this just to be nostalgic. This is our best”.

— Justin M. Norton

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Macabre Eternal track list

Hand of Darkness
Dirty Gore Whore
Always about to Die
Macabre Eternal
Deliver Me from Sanity
Seeds of the Doomed
Bridge of Bones
Born Undead
Sewn into One
Bludgeoned and Brained
Sadistic Gratification
Spill My Blood

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