By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full LengthDate Released: 17/03/2017
Label: Relapse Records
Obituary haven't sounded this deadly and taut for a long, long time, this is even better than “Inked In Blood”- itself an impressive record, A unique band in the genre. Obituary have always stood apart from other death metal bands. They now stand above them again, too, because this is a death metal tour de force
“Obituary” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1). Brave2). Sentence Day
3). A Lesson in Vengeance
4). End it Now
5). Kneel Before Me
6). It Lives
8). Turned to Stone
9). Straight to Hell
10). Ten Thousand ways to Die
11). No Hope
Obituary return with a focused and rampaging record here. If their last album, “Inked in Blood”, was an improvement on “Darkest Day” and “Executioners Return” (which it was), this has upped the ante again. Again, as per, the opener is a rager, just over two minutes of thrashing fury prior to another up tempo cut in “Sentence Day”. The production is raw this time around, raw and big sounding- closer to the band's live sound if anything. The drums in particular have a heavier attack with a rather pounding snare sound to be heard. There are solos too, lots of solos- with a more aggressive edge than has been heard from the band for some time.
By the time “Lesson In Vengeance” swings out of the speakers, you know this record is going to be a winner. Obituary haven't sounded this deadly and taut for a long, long time. The Tardy brothers are on fine form as usual, the bottom end is convincingly handled by Terry Butler (not the first time he has been involved in classic death metal) and Trevor Peres and Kenny Andrews prove again to be a deadly pairing. The death metal just keeps on coming here; “End It Now” brings both a positive message and a rolling, thrashing attack (just kidding on the positive part).
“Kneel Before Me” is another crushing groove- the whole album has this element. I can only describe it as Obituary, as heavy as normal but with a greater sense of... urgency. The slight increase in tempos are coupled with a large increase in intensity. The drums sound huge, the guitars saw away viciously and the bass truly rumbles. “It Lives” kicks off the second half of the album and brings some dark riffing and story telling to the fore; great track. “Betrayed” is simplicity itself in the riff department (echoing their heroes Celtic Frost) as the band lock tight into a groove. It has a very tasty solo as well.
“Turned To Stone” is absolutely par for the course Obituary- their doomier side, that is. An oppressively lurching, slow groove is what this one is all about. At ten tracks the band waste nothing; “Straight to Hel”l is the penultimate track and is surprisingly catchy for a song this late in an album. There is a slow section that is unexpected and welcome, again showcasing the doom tendencies that the band has always had, before a groove and riff showcase down the backstretch. The album closer, “
Thousand Ways to Die”, will be
familiar to those who bought the EP of the same name last year, but it is a
very strong track and finishes this death metal tour de force impressively.
This is even better than “Inked In Blood”- itself an impressive record. In fact, I think that this is the best Obituary record in a long, long time. A unique band in the genre as there are no blast beats, no reliance on speed and no gimmick per se. With a distinctive vocalist, a keen sense of actual song writing and a sound which manages to conjure up the oppressive environment of redneck
from whence the band hail, Obituary have always stood apart from other
death metal bands. They now stand above them again, too. Florida
“Obituary” is available to preorder/buy here