‘World Demise’ was arguably Obituary’s last album of widely-accepted recognition before they started to slip off the radar, along with the whole of death metal too, for that matter. Having released two death metal classics in ‘Slowly We Rot’ and ‘Cause of Death’, the Tampa quintet took their foot off the pedal somewhat with ‘The End Complete’ (although it was still a critical success).
The first song ‘Don’t Care’ (also released as a single) is a very early indication that this is going to be a typical Obituary record, setting out that mid-paced onslaught in which Obituary had become so successful with.
What’s striking about this album as opposed to their earlier work is how catchy the riffs are. Rather than over-complicate things with insanely fast rhythms and face-ripping percussion, the guitarists Allen West and Trevor Peres churn out a good old fashioned slab of mid-paced death metal excellence which is almost impossible not to bob your head along to.
Vocalist John Tardy has always been recognised as being one of death metal’s best vocalists, and on ‘World Demise’, it’s not difficult to see why. His vocals may have gotten slightly higher-pitched since Obituary’s earlier work, but this really brings out the emotion and pain in his voice. The beginning of ‘Final Thoughts’ sounds like the man is being slowly and painfully tortured, spitting out a genuinely malevolent and sinister vibe which very few vocalists can achieve.
The main criticism that one may have for the album is the running time. Although the album is under an hour long, the record fails to keep the listener gripped the whole way through, possibly due to the lack of clear distinction between songs, especially upon the first couple of listens. This is a real shame, because the individual songs are all excellent, but it is impossible to look over the fact that the album drags slightly.
Another problem, although very minor, is the lack of enticing lead-work. Although the solos are somewhat more melodic than previous Obituary records, there is not a lot to get excited over, as each solo that passes the listener by seems to be just added onto the song, and nothing more. Perhaps a little more emphasis on this particular aspect of the record would have been beneficial.
All in all, ‘World Demise’ saw Obituary successfully grind out another excellent death metal record which is easily memorable (with enough listens). The band tried a slightly groovier style of writing while still retaining the brutal edge in which they had become so famous for in the first place; the song ‘Redefine’ is a perfect example of this. World Demise is an excellent album, one which is highly recommended for death metal enthusiasts, and perhaps the last album in Obituary’s ‘near-immortal-status’ period within the death metal community.