It may be sad when your favorite band breaks up, but in metal anyway, some of the genre's most seminal groups haven't been staying that way very long. And, in some cases, they've come back stronger than ever.

But what exactly constitutes a comeback? Any group can spend two weeks rehearsing their old songs, play a couple of festivals, and collect a payday. For our purposes, however, we're only considering reunions in the last five years that have resulted in new recordings. The five bands below have managed to come back in style.

5. Autopsy

From 1987 to 1995, Autopsy played everything from cranked-out, coked-up goregrind to doped-up, slow-crawling doom metal. Getting back together to record two new tracks for a reissue of their 1989 debut Severed Survival in 2008 inspired a permanent reunion. Macabre Eternal, their first studio album in sixteen years, was released earlier this year. You can hear these new songs live when Autopsy headlines the Gathering Of The Bestial Legion Festival at The Echoplex on Saturday, January 14th.

4. Atheist

One of the first bands to integrate jazz-fusion influences into death metal, Atheist helped invent the subgenre of technical death metal. The band broke up in 1994, still reeling from the untimely death of bassist Roger Patterson before the recording of their masterpiece Unquestionable Presence. The surviving members regrouped in 2006 for live shows, and unleashed a new album Jupiter in 2010, to positive reviews.

3. Despise You

Inglewood's Despise You was an originator of the early-'90s powerviolence sound. They faded away for over a decade, before reuniting for live shows in 2007. The group finally got around to releasing new tunes this year via And On And On, a split EP with psychotic grindcore masters Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Age did not dull the band's trademark anger. In fact, they seem even more pissed off.

2. Cynic

Cynic's 1993 album Focus melded together vicious death metal, super-melodic progressive rock, and jazz-fusion, paving the way for copycats. A breakup followed the album's release, but they re-united for live shows in 2007, which went well, and they put out a new album the following year, Traced In Air. This release saw the band embracing full-on prog-rock/fusion, a trend that has continued with their new EP, Carbon-Based Anatomy, out this month. The band's fan base has always been musician-oriented, so they don't seem to miss the death metal elements too much. They perform at the Key Club tomorrow night.

1. Brutal Truth

While European black metal bands in the early '90s were obsessed with burning churches, New York grindcore greats Brutal Truth wanted to watch the whole fucking world burn. On albums like their 1992 debut Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses and 1997's Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom, they painted a bleak portrait of a world where citizens were fucked no matter their opinions on religion or politics. Twelve years after the release of Sounds… they put out 2009's Evolution Through Revolution and then 2011's End Time. And yes, the world is still fucked.

LA Weekly