Obituary's most recent album is another sludgy, gritty offering that demonstrates why the band have stayed relevant nearly 30 years since they began. The death metal pioneers' self-titled tenth record stays true to the sound they've been developing since their debut album, Slowly We Rot.
Very few death metal bands have vocalists who are instantly recognizable, yet John Tardy has always had an unmatchable tone to his voice. His vocals delve sparingly into the gurgling sounds associated with death metal, opting instead to fall into a mid-range growl unlike anyone else's.
The band achieve a sound on this album that is modern yet follows the framework of their definitive releases. Songs like "End It Now" and "Kneel Before Me" have all of the qualities of classic Obituary without sacrificing originality. The album savagely tears through speedy riffs that are familiar sounding yet unique enough to be engaging.
Obituary have never been a band to focus solely on the high-speed mantra most death metal bands undertake. The downtempo, groove-oriented aspect of Obituary's music presents a side of death metal that often goes unexplored. Tracks such as "Lesson in Vengeance" and "Turned to Stone" present a refreshing break from the rapid-fire brutality found elsewhere on the album.
Obituary fits in with the legacy the band have established, and provides something for both older fans and newcomers. While it would be difficult to top their classic releases, it stands nonetheless as an achievement that Obituary could create such a vibrant and energetic album this far into their career. (Relapse)