Obituary - Obituary [Relapse Records - 2017]Following up 2014's Inked In Blood, legendary Floridian death metallers, Obituary, are back with their eleventh full length, Obituary. Changing the formula a bit from Inked, Obituary finds their sound returning closer to that of their roots, which helps the self titled album quite a bit. Adding more proof that classic death will never go out of style, Obituary's thrashy, buzzsaw approach will be a welcome not to those that were let down by Inked In Blood.
While their line up has changed a few times since their inception, Obituary has centered on solid core of Donald and John Tardy and Trevor Peres. Over the years, their style has changed slightly, as bands are wont to do, but the release of their self-titled LP sees them returning to an almost classic sound. While not on the level of Slowly We Rot, but closer to that sound than World Demise, Obituary sees the Tardys and friends in a comfortable spot. Where Inked had trouble keeping my attention, Obituary remains consistent in its vibe. Maybe it's due to some of the similarities with Slowly We Rot, but this one just seems to work for me a lot more. Opening like a bat out hell with the "Words of Evil" reminiscent "Brave," Trevor and Donald rekindle the excitement of the 13 year old boy in me. Simple, but effective riffing keeps along with mid-paced, but very full drums, while John's angry vocals ice the cake. While vocals may have changed with time, Obituary's guitars have remained constant. Trevor's buzzsaw riffing and pacing stick to the comfort level that Obituary have spent their careers developing. Outside of this, there is another old school vibe afoot. This is noticed in some almost crossover throwbacks like "Straight To Hell" and "Betrayed."
Obituary is one of the most recognizable names in death metal. Their long career has influenced many bands, and their longevity is well respected. While they have strayed slightly from their original sound, overall, they have remained pretty close to what put them on the map. In an era of new bands forming around classic sounds (Gruesome, for example) it makes sense for Obituary to revisit their roots even further. While it's a nice, enjoyable album, Obituary isn't anything new or mind blowing. If you enjoy Slowly We Rot, stick with spinning that one.Paul Casey