It’s days like this when I wish that I lived in Tampa, Florida. Actually, to be fair, since many of my favourite bands come from the area, I wish I lived there most days. Although I’d probably get terrible sunburn!
The following bit of metal awesomeness comes from Imperial Conquest’s mailing list – click here to sign up!
OBITUARY drummer DONALD TARDY and the folks at the legendary Brass Mug (the CBGB of Tampa) have organized the METAL MEOWLISHA II benefit show on Sat. Aug. 6th, 2011 to help the homeless, abused, and neglected cats of the Tampa Bay area.
The benefit party starts at around 5 p.m. and will include a raffle for extremely rare band memorabilia, a Dean guitar, and more!
The event will feature meet-and-greets with members of OBITUARY, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DEATH, MASSACRE, THE ABSENCE, DEICIDE and more. Members will be signing autographs and giving away badass prizes in the raffle! Also prizes from rocknrollheaven.biz of Clearwater.
Who knows? With that much metal in the room, there could be an all-star jam session…hmmmm, TARDY BROTHERS ????????? maybe!!!!!
This event will also feature ‘live’ music from: TO THE GALLOWS, FORGED WITH BLOOD, ULCER, MUST…NOT…KILL, DESTINED TO RUIN, SLEDGEGRINDER, SINGOD, TICKLE, IMPERIAL CONQUEST!!!
TREVOR PERES of OBITUARY, will be cooking Bar-B-Q using his own T-BONE’S FAMOUS RIB ‘LICIOUS MOUTHWATERIN’ DELICIOUS BAR-B-Q- SAUCE, which you can sample for a donation.
We will accept cash donations, as well as Friskies canned cat food donations !!!!
The door is $8 (21 and over) and $10 (under 21) Get one dollar off the cover if you bring a can of friskies cat food!
Show details: facebook.com/event.php?eid=179376895451933
If you’re in the area, make sure you don’t miss this! It’s for a great cause and there will be some fantastic music.
I’m ridiculously jealous of anyone who goes!
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Ladies and gentlemen, #itsObiTime
No, I haven’t randomly developed an obsession with Obi Wan Kenobi, #itsObiTime is the tag I use on Twitter whenever I post an Obituary related tweet… which is quite often. Anyway, it is most definitely Obi Time now!
I noticed recently that the official Obituary forum over at obituary.cc had been closed down, so I approached the band via their Twitter and asked if it would be OK to set something up on the Loucifer Speaks forum. Luckily enough for me, it was OK…
So we now have a brand new Obituary message board on the Loucifer Speaks forum. Click here or on the above banner to check it out! Since it’s part of the Loucifer Speaks forum, you don’t need to sign up with a separate set of log in details – it’s exactly the same. Or, if you’re new to this – once you’ve signed up to the Obi board, you’re also a member of the overall Loucifer Speaks forum. Good, eh? Oh yeah, and registration is (of course) FREE!
The Obituary Board will be used to talk about all things Obi-related: Albums, gigs, merchandise, Tardy Brothers (there’s even a nice little sub-forum for all TB-related stuff!) – so if you’re an Obituary fan and enjoy posting on forums, this is the place for you!
2010 has almost reached its end and I find myself trying to work out what my Top 10 (or 20, or 30) albums were of the year, which videos were the best and which gigs/festivals really impressed me… and this year I’ve also decided to pick a “Band of the Year”.
The idea of picking one single band as the best for the entire year, is a little bit daunting. I mean, what criteria do you go on? Album sales? The quality of an album? Amount of tour dates? Press coverage?
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that none of the above really matter. Well, they do… to a degree… but not here. Instead, I decided to look at this from a purely personal point of view. The minute I decided upon this method, things became a lot clearer. Admittedly, there were still a huge number of bands that I could have chosen, but – in the end – it all boiled down to one.
As you’ve probably guessed from the title of this article, the band I’ve chosen is Florida’s finest: Obituary.
It’s true that Obituary haven’t released a new album this year, but they have toured like mofos! They’ve also been working behind the scenes on a new social network (called Unation) that should be hitting your computer screen fairly soon… and, if all that wasn’t enough, Donald and John Tardy also have side-project called Tardy Brothers. Add to the fact that they’re currently working on the new Obituary album and planning further tour dates and it becomes clear that these guys have to be some of the hardest working dudes on the planet!
But, having said all of that, those aren’t the reasons why I’ve chosen Obituary as my Band of the Year. Oh no, it’s something else entirely – it’s the way these guys treat their fans. Take me for example; I’m an Obituary fan from the UK who owns a webzine. Now, Loucifer Speaks isn’t massively well-known, but I thought I’d ask John Tardy if I could interview him anyway. John Tardy could have just told me to go away or even just ignored my request entirely, but – he didn’t. He took time out of his life to talk to me on Skype. And it didn’t stop there – he (or whoever else updates the band’s Twitter) has also “RT’ed” a number of my posts, giving Loucifer Speaks further promotion. I really can’t thank Obituary enough for all of this.
Obituary aren’t just one of the greatest Death Metal bands of all time, they are also some of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to (albeit online… but it still counts!).
Obituary Biography: (taken from the band’s Reverbnation page)
Upon switching their name from Xecutioner to Obituary, the career of one of the most successful and influential Death Metal bands began. Hailing from Florida and featuring John Tardy (vocals), brother Donald Tardy (drums), Trevor Peres (guitar), Allen West (guitar), and Daniel Tucker (bass), the band signed to Roadracer Records, a now defunct division of Roadrunner, for the recording of their debut album—the immense and immeasurably heavy “Slowly We Rot” (1989). The album was engineered by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound Studio, which would come to be the most sought after facility for production of albums during 1990’s rise of the Death Metal genre. Unlike much death metal preceding it, the album had a sludgy feel and integrated devastatingly slow passages along with obliterating overtures that reached far beyond any point of mayhem that metal had yet to reach; the result was a carnal pleasure for doom, death and thrash fans alike coupling the adrenaline of a speedball with the slow, degrading measures of a sewer at dusk. Like them or not, Obituary was unlike anything anyone had heard before.
“Slowly We Rot” was chaotic, bass heavy mix of manic guitar solos and crashing drums, but it was undeniably characterized by vocalist John Tardy’s disarmingly horrific, gargling style, that created guttural chasms of dread which though often strived for, to date have been paralleled by none. The ability to augment tempo so drastically became the band’s trademark along with Tardy’s unique vocal style, which distinguished them clearly from the rest of the emerging Florida Death Metal bands; nowhere is this more apparent than on the prophetic title track of their debut. The fact that Obituary refrained from printing lyric sheets with their albums led people to believe that they didn’t actually write any lyrics. Some may question the verbosity or absence of documented lyrics, however, any true fan has each grunt, growl and howling grimace committed to memory like an utterance from God in painstaking form—what does not exist can not be remembered, and an Obituary show is testimony to the re-creation of what your ears couldn’t believe in the first place. Once again bringing augmentation to irony, Live and Dead worked quite well for the quintet, dividing your conscience yet leaving much to the imagination; not since birth have your senses been so graphically assaulted yet pleased at the same time. While such differing sensations once seemed incongruous, Obituary have proven the ability to merge unlikely dichotomies, from their slow-as-hell-yet-fast-as-fuck style to the non-evil, homegrown approach to what would largely become the satanized, bastardized, make-up wearing movement known as Death Metal.
The maturation of the musicians into songwriters taking more visionary and complex forms would soon be heard world wide as Obituary took metal by storm in 1990. Despite their youth upon release of their sophomore offering, “Cause of Death” embodied the confident swagger of the most fearsome pack-leading hound. From the insidious growls of John’s vocals to the barrage of Donald Tardy’s thunderously-metered explosions of double bass, “Cause of Death” was the intention and method as promised by the early threat of “Slowly We Rot”; for Obituary, Death was just the beginning. Accordingly, the title track alone (“Cause of Death”) would be heard, regurgitated, manipulated, complimented and collapsed—but never duplicated—on third and forth generation death metal albums for years to come. Lovecraftian imagery and aural morbidity aside, even a deaf man found fear when confronted by the formidable visage of guitarist Peres; entering Frank Watkins, the hulking henchman of a bassist from South Florida, finally provided long-needed and powerful rhythm stability to the line up. However, the grinding of the axes would not be complete until the return of Xecutioner veteran Allen West, who, along with Peres and Tardy, crafted the foundation for most of Obituary’s most primordial and historic moments. Attack now whole, Obituary had given birth—sight, sound and feel—to a true horror greater than metal had ever known.
The paradox herein lies that Obituary was anything but a summation to and end, but more an exploratory journey into the infinite dehumanization of all that is known, as confronted brazenly by their best selling release yet, “The End Complete” and later followed by the cynical and dark expedition of “World Demise”. Reunited with songwriter West, the band was conjoined like quintuplets sharing life and a name. Though finality was possibly inferred by these titles, Obituary was anything but finished. Ironically, the images conjured by songs such as “Don’t Care”, “Platonic Disease” and “World Demise” seemingly foretold of the millennium as can now be seen daily, displayed plainly across the screens of CNN and reality TV programs world wide; not bad for a bunch of rednecks from Florida with Budweiser dreams and bongwater nightmares.
2004 brings reason for Obituary fans to rejoice, the sunken eyes and heaving cries have all but abated. Obituary has only aspired to live up to the standard they have set for themselves, one that numerous bands have strived to duplicate, but never attained, falling short both creatively and in lack of the unique talent that each member contributes to the near indescribable Obituary sound. Like a forgotten corpse in the basement, Obituary are back to haunt, taunt and fully pollute your senses. Fermenting like waste in the hot Florida sun, Obituary return from hiatus with the voracity of a starven wretch. The forfeiture of time brings blessings of brutality, and assurance that the Dead shall indeed rise again. Such aural abrasion can only be heard on an Obituary album or the live circumcision of a thirty-year-old man, the choice is yours…
Official Website: obituary.cc
I was recently lucky enough to interview Obituary’s vocalist John Tardy via the wonders of Skype (I feel I must add that free phone calls are awesome!)… this was a massive deal to me as Obituary are my favourite Death Metal band of all time.
I do feel that I have to be honest with you, I haven’t been an Obituary fan since they started. Due to fact that I was born in 1984 and “Slowly We Rot” was unleashed on the world in 1989, it meant that I wouldn’t discover the band until much later. In fact, it’s a surprise that I found out about the band at all. Up until around year 2000, I liked my Metal to have clean vocals and regarded anything with so much as a hint of a growl with disdain. In 2003 an incident occurred that led me to be a very angry young woman and I soon found that those clean vocals just weren’t cutting it for me anymore. So, I headed towards the nearest music shop and picked up a copy of Obituary’s “Anthology” for £3.99 (BARGAIN!). I’d never heard of the band before, but I liked the look of the cover and the track names seemed very promising – there would be no happy songs on this album… nor would it be depressing as Hell. On looks alone, it looked like it would be just what the doctor ordered. Once I’d got that album home and threw it in the CD player my world changed. I’m trying not to sound too cheesy here, but Obituary definitely filled a void. After that I tracked down all of the band’s albums and waited eagerly for new releases. I also went on to discover many more Death Metal bands (and this led me to listen to Black Metal and Grindcore as well), so I guess I have a lot to thank them for.
The band released “Slowly We Rot” in 1989, but the foundations of Obituary lie in an older incarnation of the band called Xecutioner. A band that had no real musical background, no grand plans to get a record deal, and a band that would soon have to come up with a new name…
“We were one of them bands that were really happy coming home from school and going into the garage and just jamming. And we did not hardly think a lot, or ever, about actually doing a record. We were kinda happy just hitting play and record on a tape recorder! So when we got an offer that came to us, it wasn’t like we were out trying to find a record deal… it kinda came to us and kinda surprised us all at the same time and it was just almost immediately thought of amongst us that there’s probably ten thousand other Xecutioners around the world, so we needed to come up with a different name… and one day we were just sitting there thinking and I thought of it.
There was really two bands that literally grew up in our same neighbourhood… Nasty Savage and Savatage. They were both around when we were back in High School. We would walk down the street coming home from school or wherever and we’d hear those guys out in their garages jamming… and that really was the first time that we wanted to be in a band. Trevor didn’t even have a guitar, let alone know how to play one… and Donald played some snare drum in band at school… but other than that we really had no musical background whatsoever. So we would hear those guys jamming and we’d walk back and forth in front of that house about ten times until someone came out to invite us in [laughs]. It was those two bands that really got us thinking about and wanting go out and write music and do the stuff on our own. From there our musical tastes shifted a little bit and we started hearing the early Hellhammer and Frost stuff, Slayer, and Venom… and that’s kinda what pushed us towards doing heavier music. We kinda fell in love with it, so that’s where it started.”
And so Obituary, as we know them, had arrived. Since the release of that first album, right up until now, John’s vocals have gained a lot of attention. You see, no-one else growls quite the same as John Tardy.
“Jon Oliva is one of my favourite singers and I just love the way that he sings. I know that his style isn’t what I developed into, but it’s kinda what got me started. I think the sound just came from the music and what we started feeling when we all started jamming together. The music that we write just kinda makes me sing in that way. It’s just the way it comes out. It is what it is.”
Not only did the vocals attract attention, but so did the fact that the lyrics were not printed inside the album covers. This led some to believe that there were no real lyrics, and for many to just apply their own lyrics and meanings to the songs, or just take things far too seriously.
“For some reason a lot of people look at our music and take it too serious. Y’know, we’re just more of a fictional type of band. It’s really just fictional in nature and random thoughts. The music is heavy and it gets me going, which is what makes the vocals so heavy. It just makes it sound a lot better if you sing about evil or angry type of things. So I’m not sure where it came from… it’s just how the music gets me going and it’s kinda what starts coming out of my mouth.”
Obituary have just completed a tour of mammoth proportions and which saw them travelling and playing shows for most of this past year.
“Tour was awesome! We’re real lucky, I guess, in some ways – we always seem to get good reactions even at the big festivals where we’re not the main band… It was awesome.
Some of the times we’d play a show and have about 3 or 4 days off somewhere weird and other times, like through Spain and Portugal, we played like six [shows] in a row. There’s a mixed bag there.
It’s hard to say [what the highlight was]… that last run… the shows in Spain… Cos we’d got some phone calls earlier in the tour from some of the promoters saying how the ticket sales weren’t all that great and blah blah blah, so we were kinda getting nervous that after all these big festivals and stuff that we’re gonna end up with this whole run of work with some crummy shows through Spain! But as it turns out, all the venues were packed. Filled up! And the kids were just awesome! So all of those shows through Spain were just a pleasant surprise, after what we thought. They could have been slow shows, but they really turned out good.
Earlier in the year we played a handful of shows through the UK which were really good, and we played the Bloodstock Festival which was our first ever festival in the UK. We’re just gonna park here for a bit at home. We’ve got some writing to do… we’ve got some other stuff to kinda attend to. We’ve been busy all year long touring and stuff, so it’s time for us to get busy with writing some music. As soon as we can get another album done and we can head over to Europe you can be sure that we’ll come back through the UK again.”
“[laughs] Well we always say that we work for 23 hours a day and then we play for one hour on stage… cos the travelling is what stinks. Y’know getting off stage at 1 or 2 in the morning and getting 5 o’clock wake up calls… or 3.30am wake up calls to catch flights to fly some place… So, yeah, it’s like I said… We like to say that we work for 23 hours a day and then have one hour off onstage.”
Obituary have played some amazing shows in a variety of locations, so I asked John if there were any that really stood out from over 20 years of touring:
“There was a couple of good tours that I can really remember. I mean the first time we went on tour in the States with Sepultura and Sadist was just a really good tour… and the first time we went to Europe with Demolition Hammer and Morgoth was really cool. I think the Dynamo Festival we played in 1990 or ‘91 was one of the first times we played at a big festival that had like thirty or forty thousand people there. That was really cool.
[laughs] It gets a little weird before you walk out there and look at them [the 30,000 – 40,000 people]. But once you’re out there get the first song out of the way, it becomes easier. But, it’ll take your breath away that’s for sure. I’ll walk out there and for those first couple of songs it’s just near impossible to catch your breath and get going… so it takes you a song or two for you to loosen up enough and relax and get into the set. But there’s a lot of energy that gets put down on you.”
Obituary have been feeding the Metal world with their particular brand of Death Metal for most of my life time, is there any secret to their survival?
“I think that originally we were just in the right place at the right time with coming out with this style of music in its earliest of forms… and kinda starting a little Florida Death Metal thing with some of the other bands from around here – like the Morbid Angels and Deicides. So we were kinda lucky off the bat, and we just kinda stuck to our guns and pretty much do what Obituary does. And the down to earth people that we are… I think people appreciate it.”
So, what does John Tardy like to listen to…?
“I listen to a little bit of everything. I love country and blues. I love Classic Rock… and most of the Metal I’m listening to is mostly the older stuff [laughs]. I love all of my old Slayer and Celtic Frost and Possessed and stuff like that. I’m kinda stuck back in time!”
Last year the band gave me the opportunity to add another CD to my Obi-collection with the release of “Darkest Day”. Does the rest of the world enjoy it as much as I do?
“It’s been really great. We’re really happy with the album, we really love it. It just came out really really heavy. In all of the reviews I’ve seen everybody seems to be pretty thrilled with it… and we play a lot of the songs live and the kids really seem to take to them. The biggest thing is, as I said, that we like it. You’ll always get them kids that are always like “Slowly We Rot” or “Cause of Death” and that’s one of those things and I understand it because I look at Slayer stuff and, I’ve loved everything Slayer’s done, but I’m just always like “Hell Awaits”, y’know!? Or “Reign in Blood”. You just always tend to go back to what you heard originally. But we’re really happy with how this album came out.”
The writing/recording process was a little different for “Darkest Days” with the band playing the tracks over and over again before heading into the studio. Did this make a difference?
“It made a difference. With this next album I think we’re gonna sit and record it once and just sit back and listen to it and enjoy it… and everybody can get used to it. Then we’re gonna come back and actually record it a second time. Partly because we do have our own studio that we record at… we do all of our tracking right here at my house. So that does make our lives easy! But, y’know, it’s one of those things, you always go back after the album comes out and you’re listening to it and Donald’s always like ‘God, I wish I could do that fill again cos I could do such a better fill in that song!’. We really want to take that to the next step and record the whole album and then just listen to it and listen to it, and then just start back over again from scratch and re-record the whole thing.
Trevor’s got some ProTools sessions started and we’ve got some rhythms and ideas and stuff, but we haven’t been home long enough to get anything significant done… So Trevor’s going to be coming over here, probably this weekend and he’s gonna be in town for a couple of weeks, and we’re gonna get some work done.”
Obituary recently went through a bit of line-up change with the departure of long-time bassist Frank Watkins and, when I mentioned this interview on Twitter and Facebook, the “Where’s Frank?” question came up rather a lot.
“[laughs] It’s all good. It’s obvious that Frank’s not in the band anymore and we’ve been kinda avoiding the question and telling people to go and ask Frank himself and then he can explain it how he wants. It was just kinda one of those things… to be honest with you I’d rather not get into it because it’s just a lot of personal stuff. So it’s clear that Frank’s no longer in the band, you guys can email him because maybe he wants to answer it. But right now we’re happy. It’s fun for us to jam with Terry Butler and we even did a run with Steve DiGiorgio which was cool. So we’re having a good time with some good friends of ours who we’ve known for a long time.”
So does this mean that Terry Butler is now permanent?
“He pretty much is. Any shows we set up, he’s gonna be the first one in line to do them. If for some reason he’s got some conflict of shows with Six Feet Under then we can always lean towards a couple of other people, like Kenny Andrews or Steve DiGiorgio. For the most part Terry should be seen at most of the shows. We’ve known him since we were growing up and he used to be in Massacre while we were Xecutioner. We’ve got a bit of a long history.”
Another question that popped up on Facebook was if he had ever heard of a band called SILAS. Ok, so it wasn’t asked by lots of people (only one, in fact), but full points go to Dave for trying to get his band’s name out there. So, had John ever heard of SILAS?
“No I haven’t… [laughs] I’m also half braindead so it’s possible that I could have met them one day and totally forgot about it!”
As well as writing, recording and touring with Obituary, John and Donald Tardy also have another project called the Tardy Brothers (whose album, “Bloodline”, has become one of my addictions). Are there any plans for any further material from this project?
“We definitely will [record another Tardy Brothers album]. It’s another thing where we’ve been gone for so long that me and Donald haven’t had a lot of time… but we’ve got a couple of ideas scratched out and we’ve actually got a couple of new guys in place. Like maybe Matt from Jon Oliva’s Pain that’s gonna join us this time around and maybe do some leads for us. That’s kinda something fun for us. We’re gonna invite in some new musicians as we go along and kinda play with it that way… and maybe put together some songs that maybe Obituary fans will look a little bit weird at… They’re not quite that Death Metal thing, but maybe we can get away with doing some other weird things. We’re looking forward to doing another one of those projects.
It gives the flexibility to do some weird things and we’ll bring in some other guitar players or something… or some other drummers or vocalists or whatever it might be and see what kinda weird shit we can come up with.”
Not only are John and Donald Tardy working on Obituary and Tardy Brothers, they’ve also got a new project that goes by the name Unation to keep them busy. Some people may have noticed me tweet and retweet stuff about this on Twitter, but what is it all about?
“Donald met this guy at a Starbucks. He goes to a Starbucks every morning and he sits out there and the same guy for like a year would always walk by him and just say hi to him. He’s kinda like a business guy. One day he says hi to him and introduces himself and they start talking. Turns out he’s a financial guy and he’s put this team together to create this social network… It’s a lot more than that, but it kinda starts of as that. I kinda look at it as like your Facebook and your Twitter and your YouTube and your MySpace all combined to one super site that’s gonna be able to do everything… from texting to live Pay-Per-Views, all your videos… Kinda like a turnkey website that you get that’s just full of all the different technologies that are out there, and because it’s a free website for the most part… There’s some packages that you can get into if you pay a little monthly fee you can get some other stuff. We actually have revenue sharing and ads that you get on your site that you can make money on and things like that. It can get real involved, but at the same time it starts off as a free site and it just combines all of the different websites out there, and different technologies that people have to communicate with. It’s gonna be one powerful thing! I’m hoping in the next few days to have my working site done, not for the world to see yet. We’re actually setting up a Pay-Per-View so once this thing does launch off in about a month or so, we plan to be in our studio here and we’re gonna have about three cameras in here and we’re gonna do a live Pay-Per-View… and it’s just gonna be a thing to help push the Unation thing.
The websites are pretty much done and November 1st is the new launch date. Hopefully sometime in November we can kick off our Unation site with a free Pay-Per-View right here at the garage. We’re gonna see how that works. It’s gonna be awesome!”
As our Skype-call drew to a close, I left the final words to John:
“We’ve pretty much covered everything, but we do have some shows coming up in Central America. I haven’t put them up on the site yet, because we didn’t have all of the details in place. It will be cool because we’ve never been down there . It should be cool. Other than that we’re gonna get those albums done and get the Unation site launched which we’re gonna be deep into… and put together that free Pay-Per-View which will also be available on demand afterwards. There’s a lot going on. We’re gonna set some more shows up, maybe in Florida just because we haven’t been playing around here much… and we just gonna keep ourselves busy as we sit and write some new music.”
When the interview was over, I hung up (well, I clicked a button – the equivalent of hanging up in Skype-land) happy in the knowledge that a new Obituary album was on the horizon… and a new Tardy Brothers album… and this Unation monster… During our chat, John Tardy did assure me that he did actually sleep, but how he finds time to do so is beyond me! After talking to the man at length, I can guarantee that he is one of the nicest, down-to-earth guys in Metal (and in life generally, it would seem)… and one of the hardest working.
Find out more about Obituary (and Tardy Brothers and Unation) by clicking on the links below:
Please note that all of the photographs featured in this interview were taken from Obituary’s official website. If you are the photographer that took this images, please contact me and I’ll be happy to put a link to your site on here.
“Bloodline” isn’t a new album any more, but I thought it was worth reviewing anyway…
Just in case you’ve managed to go through life without ever listening to or reading about Obituary, I’ll give you a brief heads-up on who the Tardy Brothers are. The Tardy Brothers are John and Donald Tardy and they take care of the vocal and drums duties respectively in Obituary. “Bloodline” is their album and Tardy Brothers is their side project. If you’re still not up to speed, I recommend you head over to obituary.cc and do a little reading… and a little listening!
So, how the hell am I going to describe “Bloodline”?
“Bloodline” is a beast of an album. If you’ve ever listened to Obituary, you can kind of guess what expect. Straight-forward Death Metal with insane vocals and killer guitar solos. “Bloodline” could quite easily be another Obituary album, but – for me – there is one thing that separates it: the production. I don’t know if it’s just me, or my speakers and/or earphones, the production does seem to be cleaner on this album than any Obituary album (including their newest opus “Darkest Day”). On the whole, this works well for this album and does serve to distance it from the Obituary discography. My only gripe is that I love the dirty and raw feel of the Obituary albums! The production on this album doesn’t take anything away from the listening experience, I guess it was just a little bit unexpected. A huge plus is that the guitar solos really have their chance to shine (“I’m Alive” is a fantastic example of this).
The album kicks off with “Bring You Down”, a riff-heavy monster that allows John Tardy to growl like a madman. While it does remain brutal, it carries an infectious melody that will work its way into your brain (this is aided by some superb guitar work!).
The title track seems a little more savage than “Bring You Down” and it’s one of those songs where you have to bang your head. Definitely one of my favourites from the album.
“I’m Alive” is the kind of song that I want to learn on guitar – the groove is just so (for want of a better word) awesome! Very addictive and oozing with confidence – these guys know that they don’t have to rush through things and they’re happy to let this track have a near-laidback feel. It travels along at its own pace and seems entirely organic as a result. You can almost imagine this track being the result of a jam session with a few beers.
“Deep Down” turns the pace up again and it’s at this point that I want to enter another ‘headbang-a-thon’. This is heavier than a very heavy thing.
“Wired” is a beautiful instrumental piece. That’s a weird sentence to write here, but it describes the track perfectly. It is beautiful. Listen for yourself and see what you think… and feel free to comment via the comment box thing below.
If “Wired” lulls you into a sense of security, “Fate’s Call” rips you right back out of it. The band seem to be extra aggressive here and it results in an unbelievably good track. There’s nothing not to like here.
For some reason “Eternal Lies” didn’t grab me as fast as the other tracks on the album, but after a few listens it really grows on you.
“Scream Descendent” has some superb guitar work. I really can’t stress how good this is!
The album closes with “Fade Away” – a track that definitely doesn’t just fade away. Pace-wise it has more in common with “I’m Alive” rather than the other tracks on the album and it provides us with a great way to finish off.
It works as an album in its own right, as well as a continuation of the Obituary legacy.