Obituary
Xecutioner's Return


3.5
great

Review

by Bruce USER (2 Reviews)
October 1st, 2007 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album that is sure to please longtime fans without sounding stale.

When, Florida based, death metal outfit Obituary released their debut album, Slowly we Rot, in 1989 they were one of the pioneering sounds in the post-thrash American death metal scene. With down-tuned guitars, slower riffs and John Tardy’s tortured sounding, growl and moan, vocal style, the Floridian quartet set their sound apart from predecessors like Death and Possessed.

Obituary’s sophomore effort, 1990’s Cause of Death, is considered by many to be a staple of the death metal genre. Releasing three more albums until 1997, Obituary disbanded until 2003, when they reformed and began recording their 2005 release, Frozen in Time. That brings us to 2007’s Xecutioner’s Return. Prior to the release of their debut album, Obituary was known as Xecutioner.

Obituary’s seventh studio album follows the same formula that their earlier albums did. Some might perceive this as a lack of direction for the death metal veterans, but Obituary was never about progressiveness. They are about whipping up and dishing out quality old school death metal at its best. Despite the lack of musical innovation, Obituary’s sound is as tight as ever. Production quality on Xecutioner’s Return is well suited to the music, only leaving the sound muddled on a few tracks.

The Floridians keep up their sonic assault throughout the entire album. John Tardy’s agonized vocals make him sound as if he is in pain. Ralph Santolla employs guitar leads reminiscent of mid eighties thrash. The down-tuned riffage of Trevor Peres is tight and consistent and drummer, Donald Tardy, beats the skins in time at all tempos. Frank Watkins’ bass adds to the crunch without being overbearing, melding into the music flawlessly. Clocking in at about 45 minutes (special edition), the album moves along well with most of the songs under 3.5 minutes. The longest song, ‘Contrast the Dead’, does not detract form the album in any way.

Xecutioner’s Return kicks off with ‘Face Your God’ and plays, what seems to be, a heavier sound than previous recordings, Tardy’s tortured vocals perfectly compliment the heavier riffs that dominate most of the album. The group kick it up a notch on ‘Seal Your Fate’ to a death/thrash breakneck speed, never missing a beat. Then slowing it down to a much slower pace on the very next track, ‘Feel the Pain’, giving the song an almost gothic feel. The next track is the seven minute ‘Contrast the Dead’, which contains enough riff changing to keep the song from being boring. The album picks up the pace again with ‘Lies’ and then wraps up the album with ‘In Your Head’. If you buy the limited edition boxed CD, you get the bonus song ‘Xecutioner’s Return’.

Overall, Obituary proves that you don’t need tricks to put out a focused, solid death metal album. The album flows well from track to track with excellent musicianship all around. Standout tracks include ‘Face Your God’, ‘Seal Your Fate’, ‘Feel the Pain’ and ‘Lies’. The new material hearkens back to the bands heyday and still manages to sound fresh. Xecutioner’s Return stays true to the hardcore and thrash roots of a genre it helped to define without sounding dated.


user ratings (120)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2007


2711 Comments


Hey man, this is really good work for the reviews - thanks for your consideration earlier in the day.

masscows
October 1st 2007


2236 Comments


i've heard alot of people say this is the best thing theyve done since their first 2. Might check this out at some point. Good review.

CoRpSeSlAyEr
October 1st 2007


855 Comments


I don't know if anything can beat there first 2 albums. I might check this out though.

ToWhatEnd
October 1st 2007


3172 Comments


Yeah definitely an improvement over what you submitted earlier. Nice first review and welcome to the site :thumb:

Apocalyptic Raids
October 2nd 2007


810 Comments


the lead guitarist's name is Ralph Santolla, not Santoro.

Pebster49
October 2nd 2007


2993 Comments


I find them as the most boring Death Metal ever...This was probably cool in 1989 but ya its not 1989 anymore...

south_of_heaven 11
October 2nd 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds pretty solid so far...good review.

epizoan
October 2nd 2007


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Apocalyptic Raids wrote:
'the lead guitarist's name is Ralph Santolla, not Santoro."


Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.

WARPATH_88
October 2nd 2007


514 Comments


I need to get this it sounds really awesome.

south_of_heaven 11
October 2nd 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I keep listening to this off and on...so I haven't listened to it in full yet. Most this could be is a 4, but it's pretty sweet.

epizoan
October 9th 2007


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I keep listening to this. It hasn't grown old yet.

Pebster49
October 9th 2007


2993 Comments


Ive heard bits of this, it sounds better than there old stuff but I doubt it will be higher than a 3 for me. I never could get into these guys.

Shred Danson
October 10th 2007


118 Comments



I find them as the most boring Death Metal ever...This was probably cool in 1989 but ya its not 1989 anymore...


You have got to be kidding me...


Slaytan
November 28th 2007


1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Obituary is the shit. Next to Death they're my favorite death metal band.This Message Edited On 09.27.08

xecutioner
April 26th 2008


73 Comments


i like this album. the first half of it is a lot better than the second though.This Message Edited On 04.26.08

TheyTookOurJobs
September 12th 2009


1318 Comments


i am debating whether i should buy this or frozen in time.....

charlesfishowitz
September 12th 2009


1794 Comments


neither

Meatplow
June 24th 2011


5524 Comments


this is alright

didn't like Frozen In Time too much though

KILL
November 8th 2012


72280 Comments


fuck it

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2012


19067 Comments


no reason to listen to anything after cause of death really

Digging: Objekt - Objekt #2



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