Album Review: Obituary — “Dying of Everything”

Obituary - Dying of Everything

They may have started down-tuning their guitars, and the vocals may actually be decipherable, but there’s still no mistaking the old-school caveman death metal of Obituary. For almost 25 years the band has come to define perhaps more than any other that Florida death metal sound, and the years have only packed more weight onto those classic bones. The past couple of years have proved to be a bit of a renaissance for the band, and Dying of Everything shows the clear benefits of tweaking your production into the modern age while keeping the metal positively prehistoric. The band is here to show why the dinosaurs reigned for millions of years, and I’m here for it.

Since 1989’s Slowly We Rot, Obituary’s method of execution has always been more bludgeon than scalpel; even when Cause of Death featured Chris Murphy on leads the draw of the band was always in the deep pocket of riffs created by Trevor Peres on guitar and Donald Tardy on drums. Well, that and the unmistakable roar of John Tardy on vocals, although at the time “vocals” was maybe a stretch – it was more a devilish gurgle of gore where syllables and dictation took a backseat to a pure, unbridled vomitous invocation of death. Now that roar has aged into a powerful weapon with sharp edges, ready to cut along side the team, buoyed now for the last 12 years with the great Terry Butler on bass and Ken Andrews on lead guitar. Dying of Everything is the third release with this lineup, after the re-vitalization of 2014’s Inked in Blood and 2017’s self-titled release, and the small tweaks in production (the band co-producing with Joe Cincotta in their own RedNeck Studios) have resulted in a leaner, meaner album that is a great kickoff to death metal in 2023.

Opener “Barely Alive” is a rallying cry, meshing together a rapid fire pedaling riff with Tardy’s roar rising like an awakened beast. The middle bridge brings in the dive-bombs and the mosh heavy breakdown that’s always been a signature of the band, but things really pick up on the second track. “The Wrong Time” has that pocket swing that’s come to define this sort of space for me. Ken Andrews absolutely slays on the track, and Donald Tardy’s drum work brings the song into the all-time classic Obituary tracks. “War” brings a similar groovy attack, and hammers in that there are faster death metal bands out there, but none of them can hold a candle to how deep Obituary can go in the pocket.

The second half of the album starts strong with the gnarly martial drive of “My Will to Live” before slamming into the blizzard of drums that announce “By The Dawn” which is a late album highlight. Peres and Butler lock in to produce this deep, primal tone in their riffs that tap into my lizard brain, and then when Andrews comes back with his bent blues death attack for the solo I can taste the sweat from all the head banging these tracks are going cause live.

obituary band 2023

By the time of closer “Be Warned” it’s clear that – far from having returned – Obituary never left, and Dying of Everything shows a band still on top of their game, willing to adapt with the times without evolving into something they’re not. You can argue whether birds evolved from dinosaurs, but you can’t argue the success of those massive gators living in the swamp. There’s a reason we keep clear of those waters…the bite has never been more dangerous.

– Chris

Dying of Everything will be available January 13 on Relapse Records. For more information on Obituary, check out their official website and Facebook page.

One thought on “Album Review: Obituary — “Dying of Everything”

  1. nxero January 13, 2023 / 2:01 am

    Can’t wait to hear it! \m/

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