Obituary is a death metal band from Tampa, Florida, United States. Formed in 1984 by brothers John and Donald Tardy originally under the name Executioner, then changed the spelling to Xecutioner before finally changing the name to Obituary in 1988. After many line up changes John, Donald and Trevor Peres on vocals, drums and rhythm guitar respectively remain the only original members with Kenny Andrews on lead guitar and Terry Butler on bass. To date Obituary have released ten studio albums and have long be considered one of the pioneers of death metal.
The new album contains everything that makes Obituary great, John and Donald haven’t lost any of their chemistry and prove that even in 2017, they still fucking got it and Peres, Andrews and Butler do a good job at helping to keep the music brutal and interesting. The album first two tracks, ‘Brave’ and ‘Sentence Day’, which also happen to be the two shortest songs on the album kick things off with a brutal and fast paced assault that warm you up, get the muscles ready and are a short but meaningful way of letting the listener know that Obituary is still a no bullshit band that hasn’t lost any of their brilliance.
‘A Lesson in Vengeance’ starts off a little slower and the opening riff very much reminds me of ‘Revolution is my Name’ by Pantera, except the guitar work takes more of a centre stage. The song is a lot more upbeat and happy than most of their music, and this isn’t a bad thing though. The song itself is just too overly simplistic by their standards, the riff stays very much the same all the way through and only changes when the guitar solo kicks in and then goes back to the same riff. This isn’t bad song; matter of fact the vocals are very good as you expect, its just not the best one on the album.
‘End it Now’ makes up for the previous song by launching into a growly, groovy attack; which wastes no time at all and pulls the listener back in. Using these groove styles to give the song its meat, then breaking out into fast paced parts for added affect. The solo comes into play just after the three minute mark and treats us to an awesome display of guitar work, this is one of my favourites on the album. As the song does a good job at keeping to Obituary’s hard hitting style.
‘Kneel Before Me’, ‘It Lives’, ‘Betrayed’ and ‘Turned to Stone’ are all great songs as well; they draw influences from their older albums like ‘Cause of Death’, ‘World Demise’ and ‘Back from the Dead’. The guitar solo on ‘Turned to Stone’ is fast and quick and seems to use most of the fret work despite the song starting off a little slower than most of the other songs on the album, not that is a bad thing. The song is meaty and is a salute to their classics and is one of the best songs on here. ‘Straight to Hell’ and ‘Ten Thousand Ways to Die’ also do a good job at giving us some classic Obituary while adding in a little bit modernisation to keep it interesting and they round the album off nicely.
While their early works will always be their glory days and will always be their classics, this album is definitely proof that Obituary are still very much a driving force in Death metal and is gem. It maintains their no bullshit attitude and keeps things moving forward for them and their fans and shows no signs of slowing down. Obituary’s self-entitled album for me, gets a 4/5 score and is a must have for death metal fans.