Obituary’s prominence regarding the evolution of Florida’s death metal is beyond written (and oral) words. Let’s just say that Obituary, Death and Morbid Angel are titanic acts who shaped (and BECAME) a whole genre. Sometime in the distant past, they were inventors, forging the wheel. Now, they have a good time enjoying their long-time experience; it’s their indefeasible concession.
However, Obituary have a unique advantage: even if some of their albums in the post-reunion era sound typical and dull, Tardy’s voice is there to haunt your ears. A voice so distinctive, so peculiarly rotten, so Floridian, that defined what growl is, transforming even mediocre compositions. Indeed, albums like “Xecutioner’s Return” and “Darkest Day” that no one remembers, have Tardy, whose vocals surely concern every deathster’s sensitive ears.
Luckily, after a mediocre period, Obituary showed signs of returning to higher quality levels with “Inked in Blood” in 2014; signs that became more evident in their self-titled album six years ago. These works, featuring more interesting song structures and riffage, gave you incentives to pay attention to their music again. Of course, credits should be given to Kenny Andrews’ excellent work on lead guitar. It’s evident that his recruitment gave new perspectives to the band and his ideas were perfectly integrated into Obituary’s given framework.
“Dying of Everything” is another addition to the string of the recent albums that signify Obituary’s return to their known standards. The band doesn’t do something different; they are simply themselves! During forty-five minutes you feel that grim, threatening atmosphere that you used to adore; and it’s good that Obituary became threatening again! The solid, heavy sound, the muddy groove, the familiar death riffs that some generations of deathsters grew up with, several tempo changes, Andrews’ heavy-metallic solos and Tardy’s eternal gutter-voice are elements that satisfy completely the audience’s expectations.
“Dying of Everything” combines easily mid-tempo themes that occasionally become rather groovy, immersed in mud (“The Wrong Time” is certainly rooted in the “World Demise” era), with traditional storming tracks (like “Barely Alive” and the self-titled song) that remind a simple truth: Obituary were always popular to deathsters and thrashers alike! As for “My Will to Live”, it represents the devastating death metal that you seek, intensified by Tardy’s sick dragging voice (just hear how they deploy a simple, but crushing riff!). The ending of the album is absolutely compatible with Obituary’s soul. The doomy “Be Warned” is torturously slow and creepy, a realization -not just a remembrance- of that rotten, repulsive abomination that’s called “Obituary”. Just imagine how that track would sound under the production of “Cause of Death”!
Probably, you’ll realize that some riffs of “Dying of Everything” have already occurred in the past; that’s a natural disadvantage for bands of that status, making some songs hardly resilient to the passing of time. However, we can “forgive” this, since Obituary offer an intense, raw album, full of grimness and hopelessness, confirming that they’ve found again their once-lost identity. They came, devastated, and intend to remain on their undisputed throne. And this happens (only) after thirty-five years…
PS: At last, we have a great Obituary album cover! These derelict, gigantic structures have always been a trademark of death metal albums. Sadly, the surrealist creator Mariusz Lewandowski passed away recently. According to his biography, his subject matter “often goes far beyond the limits of the human mind” ...