Obituary – Obituary (Relapse)

Wednesday, 1st March 2017
Rating: 8/10

Bands go with a self-titled album because they either can’t think of a title, or they are so confident in a particular selection of songs, that they feel their band name provides enough representation. Obituary could probably slap their name in Times New Roman font on a white background and it would sell, but their simple, serpentine logo says enough on this, their tenth album. And Obituary are no fools…they give people exactly what they want.

Speed has never been the band’s long-suit, but the back-to-back barrage of “Brave” and “Sentence Day” provides plenty of veteran DM freewheeling, most notably from lead guitarist Kenny Andrews. Andrews, much like his predecessors Alan West, James Murphy and Ralph Santolla, is given plenty of room in which to operate, thus reeling off a rather hearty solo run on “Sentence Day” that even incorporates melody. Gasp. The familiar stomp of “Lesson in Vengeance” is equalized by “End it Now,” one of the band’s most frenetic cuts in recent memory, one that even finds drummer Donald Tardy laying down some quick Cannibal Corpse one-arm blasts.

Additional highlights include the crunchy “Kneel Beside Me,” the groove-laden “Betrayed” (which is a hair reminiscent of the band’s vastly-underrated World Demise), and “Straight to Hell,” which finds death metal vocalist-to-end-all-vocalists John Tardy at his ever-monstrous best.

Perhaps the most invigorated Obituary has sounded in quite some time (this is not to discount any of their post-reformation albums, however), their self-titled album is the mark of a veteran band more than capable of holding its own in the death metal fray. Obituary have long made their mark. They’re simply in victory lap mode in 2017.

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