Album Rating: 4.0
Obituary's first album and a very influential one for it's release. It doesn't hold up as well today, especially compared to Cause of Death, but it easily crushes the overrated Altars of Madness which was released the same year.
The production on this album is very fitting. The unmistakable, dirty guitar tone, makes Obituary instantly recognizable.
A lot of the songs alternate between savage mid paced riffing and speed, which Obituary became famous for. It's obvious that the band is highly influenced by Celtic Frost, but they mix it up with some sludgy and doom riffs as seen on the title track and 'Til Death.
The guitar solos on the album are not technically impressive, but they add to the chaos. The best leads are on 'Til Death and Intoxicated. Thankfully guitarist Allen West was unavailable for Cause of Death, so they got James Murphy who is 10x better.
Now the real highlight of this is vocalist John Tardy. His morbid, yet catchy vocal performance puts all the new shitty death metal vocalists to shame. From his tortuous moans, to his low grunts, and those piercing screams... Every time he screams, he screams in pain! Just listen to his delivery on Gates To Hell. One of the most distinct vocal styles in death metal and he is still consistent today. Also let's not forget his famous yeoughhhhhhhooo that is all over this album.
Donald Tardy also gives a great performance on the drum kit, just listen to the drumming on Intoxicated or Immortal Visions. He's never been about blasting, but his double bass, tasty drum fills, and grooves are perfect for the music.
I recommend this, but Cause of Death is better in every way possible.