Album Review: Obituary – Self-Titled

By Jaide Alicia

Legendary Florida based death metal band Obituary has created yet another metal masterpiece upon the release of their eponymously titled tenth studio album. This effort has completely invalidated the theory that death metal is just pointless noise that requires little to no musical prowess. If you were to dissect the album, one would find that among the chaos and undeniable brutality is the remarkable talent that is provided to us by John Tardy, Kenny Andrews, Terry Butler, Don Tardy and Trevor Peres. Obituary has discovered the formula to creating the model death metal record, and they show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

‘Obituary’, although not an exact copy of ‘Slowly We Rot’ or ‘Cause of Death’, works around the framework of those classics making it an ideal album for fans both old and new. Opening the album at rapid speed is ‘Brave’- a powerful and in-your-face track that transitions right into ‘Sentence Day’, an equally breakneck song. For the past 33 years, John Tardy’s vocals have remained an outstanding favorite among metal heads, and they are a prominent force behind this album being so great. Throughout the album, Tardy incorporates deathly growls, especially on the more mid-tempo track ‘Turned to Stone’, which is the perfect example of a what a death metal song should be – power chords oozing with groove, paired with unmistakably heavy drums beats (especially towards the end of the track), and a clear focus on guttural vocals and growls.

Tracks like ‘Lessons in Vengeance’ and ‘End It Now’ contain slower grooves and sludgier riffs opposed to the lightning fast tracks mentioned previously. ‘Straight to Hell’ contains a sinister sounding breakdown which implies a sense of impending doom and then continues, to come to an abrupt end – if there’s an elevator that takes you to hell, this would be its soundtrack. Closing out ‘Obituary’ is ‘Ten Thousand Ways to Die’ which contains some heavier guitar work than others, but still has the eminent bass lines and pounding drums that can be heard on the entire album.

Obituary has progressed in many ways from 1989’s noteworthy ‘Slowly We Rot’ to their latest, praiseworthy release, but as mentioned previously, the structure and styling of songs have remained fairly consistent. ‘Obituary’ has an excellent variety of tracks; all of the songs are built on the same foundation, but differ in their internal make up which creates an album that is listenable from beginning to end. Its murderous riffs, churning grooves, pulverizing drum beats and the unmistakable voice of John Tardy make Obituary’s self-titled opus a very desirable listen for metalheads far and wide.

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Relapse
Release Date: March 17th 2017

Track Listing:
01. Brave (2:15)
02. Sentence Day (2:49)
03. Lesson In Vengeance (3:08)
04. End It Now (4:02)
05. Kneel Before Me (3:05)
06. It Lives (3:24)
07. Betrayed (3:01)
08. Turned To Stone (4:13)
09. Straight To Hell (3:57)
10. Ten Thousand Ways To Die (3:16)

Total Duration: 33:12

Obituary links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram