This self-titled release (Relapse) marks the tenth album from Floridian death metal gods Obituary. These guys are among the top tier of bands that ushered in a new chaotic age of ferocity and aggression. With each record Obituary has proven that they have no intension of ever slowing down. The new album contains all the best parts of the band, revving the excitement and adrenaline all the way. Both Kenny Andrews and Trevor Peres bring in corpse crushing grooves, with Andrews ripping sick solos at times. Terry Butler makes for some funky lines throughout, and Donald Tardy delivers drumming with blistering precision. John Tardy provides solid vocals that aid flow and blend screams and grueling lows.
“Brave” begins and takes off with a standard drive. It’s a fun way to start the album and get the muscles warmed up in the pit. “Sentence Day” kicks things up a few notches thanks to some brilliant guitar moments. Andrews adds in little moments of flair that come through like lighting, all backed by berserk drumming. Towards the end Andrews goes off on this absolutely fucking wild solo that soars, swooping in at the right time to bring a crunching end. “Lesson In Vengeance” mixes up styles of the first two titles, taking its time in pace. One of the more forward jam tracks, it pops from time to time with electric excitement. “End It Now” is a balls to the wall thrash out fest. Harsh vocals pounce through crunching speeds, at times dropping into brutal growls.
In “Kneel Before Me” we get more of the same ideas found in “End It Now”. Obituary surely has their stunning moments of technical mastery, but the attitude here is more one of an immediate punch to the face. The album embodies aggression through varying means of relentless speeds, or with a slow heft that crushes the listener. From time to time there are even elements of horror like tones surrounding the music, noticeable towards the end of “Kneel Before Me”, and the beginning of “It Lives”. Picking up with some brighter notes that carry some swing to them is “Betrayed”. It feels good with a band to let the bass get some attention, and while the record does that well in general, it came through strong here. Not only does the guitar find its way into another cool solo, but there is a funky rhythm that flows throughout, adding a splendid switch up to the chemistry. “Turned To Stone” also caters to a beat down structure, and while this structure is common, it is never repetitive. It helps that the material at its core is full to the brim with excitement and solid fun. The two closers “Straight To Hell” and “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” set off the fire works for a terrific ending. With a range of variety in sound, both keep the listeners on their toes, while tearing at their eardrums.
Obituary have put out one hell of a record. With everything to please fans and old school death metal heads, the self-title Obituary is a killer jam. Structure can become a little common, but not once does it ever take away from the pure bliss of rage. Devastating drive, flying solos, and harsh vocals create a whirlwind of death metal chaos that will please everyone from the beginning to the end.