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Obituary – Xecutioner’s Return

obituary – xecutioner’s return


After 20 years getting the royalties from the Roadrunner office, the Tampa Bay deathsquad was fed up with the attitude of the label and got a deal with Candlelight Records. Throughout the years it became perfectly clear the death metal audience are still embracing Obituary in their arms. ‘Back from the Dead’ was a kind of comeback album after a period of silence almost a decade ago, but ‘Frozen in Time’ was the real comeback as we haven’t heard from them in 7 years. The critics were quite positive and as a fan I was positive as well but it lacks something that I couldn’t put my finger on. After hearing ‘Xecutioner’s Return’ I know what it is: Fresh Energy! Imagine the band was nervous with ‘Frozen in Time’ and asking themselves if the world is waiting for a new Obituary album ‘Xecutioner’s Return’ sounds like an album made by a fresh band who released a stunning debut and can’t wait to record the follow-up. Fresh Energy!

The Obituary crew will definitely say that, although they feel abandoned, they miss their long time buddy Allen West. But they will also state that Ralph Santolla was an opportunity of a life time. With such a great lead guitarist the comparison with ‘Cause of Death’ is easily made, although it’s advisable not to expect a Part II. Where James Murphy played his solos on top of the already recorded songs on the ‘Cause of Death’ album, Ralph Santolla was present during the process. His influence is clearly there during tracks as ‘Face your God’ and ‘Lasting Presence’. But enough about Ralph, what about the vocal performance of John Tardy on ‘Seal your Fate’. According to himself he never sang so fast as on that track. And what about on the 7 minute goredripping epos ‘Contrast the Dead’? Yes, Obituary created a 7 minute lasting song! Their own ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ if you will, or ‘To Tame a Land’, or ‘Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner’ or ‘Seventh Son of the Seventh Son’, damn, Iron Maiden has so many great songs!! Hmm, yes, Obituary, the production of the album is in the hands of the band themselves because of the presence of their own studio. The vocals of John Tardy are clearer but without losing the power trademark. Conclusion: another good album.

A good album? ‘Frozen in Time’ is a good album; ‘Xecutioner’s Return’ is a terrific album and label this masterpiece as the real return!