Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CD Review: OBITUARY Obituary (Relapse Records) by Dave Wolff

Relapse Records
As soon as their new CD kicked in, I could tell Obituary haven’t changed much all the time they were active. Which can be understood since they were part of the first wave of Tampa death metal, filling the void left when hair metal killed itself and thrash went into slumber for several years. Admittedly this is a band I have to catch up on considering I missed many of their CDs since the beginning. 1997’s Back From The Dead was when I last heard from them before their subsequent disbanding. They would spent ten years apart before reforming to release their Frozen Alive DVD and Xecutioner’s Return full length in 2007. Could they reawaken their passion for brutal death metal and reclaim their former glory after a full decade? According to long time DM supporters Relapse the band have achieved this goal more than admirably as their self-titled new release continues where their previous work Inked In Blood ended. Brothers (in the literal sense) John and Donald Tardy have weathered their long inactivity, touring fatigue and countless lineup changes (including James Murphy of Death & Testament and Ralph Santolla of Iced Earth & Deicide), all without losing touch with their vision since they got the idea of forming a band. Even today I get the impression they’re rabid fans as well as professional musicians. Their maturity is equally tangible, going by well-defined compositions displaying a natural sophistication, expressly in the solos and lead harmonies of mainstay guitarist Trevor Peres and new guitarist Kenny Andrers. Their fandom and professionalism sound irrevocably merged and everything generally seems tighter and more well thought out alongside what I remember hearing from them on past releases. Listen to Brave, End It Now, Kneel Before Me, It Lives and Straight To Hell and you’ll hear subtle headway in the songwriting and its execution. This progression has been gradual but looking at the big pictures lays bare the long road they’ve traveled to mature on their own merit. Some bands completely change and overstate their progression; Obituary state it in more of a self-evident way and it works for them. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Brave
2. Sentence Day
3. Lesson In Vengeance
4. End It Now
5. Kneel Before Me
6. It Lives
7. Betrayed
8. Turned To Stone
9. Straight To Hell
10. Ten Thousand Ways To Die

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