For Fans Of
Long before skinny legged jeans, fringe haircuts, and excessive genre labelling – metalcore, deathcore and nintendocore (yes, apparently it exists), there was a little thing called American death metal, with Florida’s Obituary one of the genres main practitioners.
‘Darkest Day’ is a musical milestone in more ways than one. Firstly, it marks the bands eighth studio album, which is an achievement in any era. One made even more impressive in a genre that is inherently starved of mainstream publicity. Secondly, and perhaps most significantly is Obituary’s new release celebrates the twentieth anniversary since 1989’s debut ‘Slowly We Rot’.
There is no two ways of looking at it, this is f***ing ‘old school’. Upon a cursory listen you can just imagine the metal purists decked out in their oversized Cannibal Corpse t-shirts playing air guitar to this album in their bedrooms.
Opener ‘List of Dead’ is vintage Obituary – relentless riffs, pounding blast beats and malevolent refrains courtesy of John Tardy. The only thing that has seemingly changed over time is the presence of identifiable lyrics. Today, there is a clear vocal template as opposed to the sporadic growls and screams prevalent during the bands infancy. It is clear to see where contemporary bands like the Black Dahlia Murder derive their lyrical inspiration.
Tracks such as ‘Blood to Give’ and ‘Lost’ keep the metronome ticking over with unfailing doses of musical aggression. Pounding double kick work and ostinato lines give way to guitar solos and a steady stream of death metal vocals. This album is down and dirty. There is no pretence or image concessions, just a throwback to the late 80’s when hair metal was nothing more than a musical footnote and pure heavy metal was beginning to take shape.
If you want to get an idea on the historical precursors of death metal and a reason as to why the genre is still strong today, go out and listen to Obituary’s back catalogue.
Listeners take note we have not gone back to the future; rather this is just classic death metal given a very modern face. Just turn the dial to eleven and enjoy…
- List of Dead
- Blood to Give
- Outside My Head
- Your Darkest Day
- This Life
- See Me Now
- Fields of Pain
- Violent Dreams
- Truth Be Told
- Forces Realign
- Left to Die