Out of all of the old guard of death metal, Obituary deserves some serious respect for taking one of the riskier routes to making this music: adding groove and plenty of slow parts. Of course, they still have plenty of raging songs, but no band takes quite the same stripped-down, barebones approach to death metal that Obituary does. Though the quality has wavered throughout the years, there really hasn’t ever been a bad Obituary album, and things were trending upwards with “Inked In Blood”. The band’s new self-titled record once again shows considerable improvement, as the band has cut the fat that plagued their previous release, resulting in a concise, hard-hitting offering of death metal.
The core elements of Obituary’s sound are still in tract. John Tardy’s maniacal growls remain one of the band’s most defining characteristics. One might think that his voice would begin deteriorating over time, but he sounds sicker than ever. Surprisingly, his enunciation is improving, and it’s actually getting easier and easier to understand the violent lyrics he’s spewing out.
Of course, the band’s groove tendencies are still in place on “Obituary”, but they seem much more toned down. There isn’t even a hint of them amongst the first two tracks, and several songs are just pure speedy death metal. Even when they are rumbling along, such as in “Lesson In Vengeance”, the songs manage to be so catchy that it really isn’t all that much worse than the quicker efforts.
There isn’t too much to be said about Obituary at this point because they’re such a known entity. At most, it’s worth pointing out that casual fans of the band should check out this record because it’s probably their third best album after the first couple of records. It doesn’t really suffer from any of the problems that occasionally plagued their other releases (excessive length, too much groove/not enough speed, boring songwriting, etc.). On a side note, having had a chance to see the band live for the first time recently, it’s clear that Obituary is even superior in a live setting than they are in the studio. The heaviness of their crushing breakdowns and groove riffs is amplified on stage, and the result is death metal bliss.
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"End It Now"
"Ten Thousand Ways To Die"
4.1/5 or 82%.
Written by Scott