Obituary’s new one is a four-track EP (not counting the video-track for ‘Evil Ways’, taken from their last album) which will most likely closes the gap between the aforementioned last albums “Xecutioner’s Return” and their forthcoming album. The veterans of Floridian death metal entered their third decade and still their tried and tested formula of Frostian death metal is standing strong.
Though “Xecutioner’s Return” might have disappointed a bit and many thought that Ralph Santolla’s rather genious leads and solos were not supposed to be a part of Obituary’s primitive sound it is still safe to say that all of the bands releases are highly anticipated. So is this one. Only announced briefly before its release, this EP was supposed to be an appetizer and a treat for the fans.
The title of the first track of this mini CD, ‘Forces Realign’, might reveal a bit. Not much has changed with Santolla’s leads, they are still there but not as long and not as prominent as before. They are placed a little better in the music. This makes you wonder whether the band were too fast with releasing their previous album instead of taking a bit more time to compose good songs with Santolla’s solos. Furthermore we get a Celtic Frost cover in the form of ‘Dethroned Emperor’ and a re-recorded version of ‘Slowly We Rot’, just a bit different, actually the way they’ve been playing this classic song live for over two decades. Last but not least we get another new track, ‘Left To Die’, which is a mid-paced catchy roar-along-song that could easily have been from one of the older Obituary albums.
It is rather hard to imagine that anyone really got disappointed with Obituary, even when that last album was not the killer it was meant to be. Anyone who has seen the band live after its release should know that there was nothing lost of the bands true glance. And with ‘Left To Die’ they surely left us a bit of a present to fill the silence. Let’s hope it’s the calm before storm… (FelixS)
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One of many Floridian death metal big-names, the slaughtering bunch, Obituary are back with a twenty minute EP entitled ‘Left to Die’. The question on everyone’s mind being, “Will this be enough to satiate my hunger for some more of Obituary?”. Thoughts of the re-recorded version of ‘Slowly We Rot’ are a tossup, where some take the optimistic, eye-popping view, whilst others clench teeth and howl angrily. Also, the cover of Celtic Frost’s ‘Dethroned Emperor’ is under fire, by both Celtic Frost and Obituary fans alike. Well, altogether, don’t expect another ‘The End Complete’ or a total “return to the roots” atmosphere here, but do expect a bit of re-visitation.
Both of the new tracks, ‘Forces Realign’, and ‘Left to Die’ are pretty mid-tempo with the pace dragging more from John Tardy’s time-stopping snarls. The guitars are a flickering fire in a dark cave with Ralph Santolla and Trevor Peres still an axe duo from Allen West’s departure, producing quite subtle, but electrifying solos nonetheless and headbanging riffs. On ‘Dethroned Emperor’ Obituary easily captures the old school spirit, sounding absolutely nothing like obvious influence Celtic Frost of course. Though the mere idea of this song being covered by the likes of Obituary might immediately turn some off, it s a damn good song and the miry attitude here is perfect for a tune like this. ‘Slowly We Rot’ sounds like the original 1989 version, but much more audible and powerful. The song is not ruined at all, just resurrected; not that it was dead in the first place.
The verdict is in and ‘Left to Die’ is best for fans who think that mid-tempo, down-tuned death metal still sounds great with crisp production and a bass sound you could cut with a knife. It’s a worthy release for sure and signals Obituary going further down the road they were on with last year’s ‘Xecutioner’s Return’ where the band lost and gained fans from the not so thick production and speedier performances. They started the band more than 20 years ago, so it’s not surprising that with the rest of the 80’s horde, their music is reminiscent of the old days. While not a clone of their earlier work, they don’t sound as ‘modern’ as newer bands. In the end, Obituary can still provide suffocating death metal and shouldn’t be thrown out as old news. (Yulon Zhu)