Obituary Are Still Obituary on 'Dying of Everything'

BY Manus HopkinsPublished Jan 9, 2023

You always sorta know what you're gonna get with a band like Obituary. One of the most successful stalwarts of Florida's '80s–'90s death metal scene, the band helped pioneer a genre in which consistency is highly valued — it's arguable that the albums considered missteps by the band's peers are those that stray from the tried-and-true death metal sound. So, in 2023, on their 11th album, how do the members of Obituary flex their creative muscles without alienating their loyal longtime fans?
The answer, it turns out, is very carefully. Dying of Everything wastes no time showing that Obituary are only working to further perfect their craft rather than change their formula. "Barely Alive" hurls the album into an abrupt start, and subsequent tracks keep the charge going, with lead single "The Wrong Time" and certified ripper "Without a Conscience" making it abundantly clear that Obituary have little desire to reinvent their spiked and bloodstained wheel. 
It's not at all a bad thing to hear Obituary doing what Obituary does nearly 40 years into their career. The band are clearly in tune with their own legacy, crafting songs that demand furious moshing — even the slower, stompier breaks from the thrash serve as buildup to further madness, or, in the instance of closing track "Be Warned," simply cue more slow-motion pits. Production-wise, the band sounds absolutely massive, a relief in a world of sterile, oversaturated metal drowned in picture-perfect slickness. 
Dying of Everything, while slick and professional sounding, still has an element of danger to its sound, one that's all too often lost in modern heavy recordings. Guitarists Trevor Peres and Ken Andrews' tones are more menacing than ever, and Donald Tardy's intense, skull-shaking drums are perfectly captured. While vocalist John Tardy's screams have obviously aged since Obituary's early days, they still sound powerful enough to get the job done, and the entire band plays with a locked-in ferocity that never sounds robotic or artificial. 
One could be forgiven for worrying that an extreme metal band pushing 40 years together (minus that '97–2003 breakup) might have lost some of their edge or aggression this late in the game, but Obituary seem more or less indefatigable. The band have weathered countless changes in the music world and stuck to their guns through decades of trends and fads, and while they aren't making any big changes, nobody's really asking them to. After everything, Obituary are still themselves.

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