Review Summary: But us.
What always has fascinated me about Obituary is that the feeling of your flesh being ripped to pieces by John Tardy's growls is almost guaranteed, no matter the decade, the album or the song. The Florida squad is pretty much alien to the old motto re-invent or die
. They have never boasted impressive technicality with their instruments or excel in writing songs that would make your brain bleed while elaborate structures and clever transitions put your IQ to the test. Nope. They have brute forced their way through more than 30 years of uncooked death metal with stunning resolve and a very simple but effective formula. Obituary was there when the pot containing the genre's broth started to boil out of control, overflowing its filthy charms to the rest of the world. While their contemporaries chose different approaches, with Morbid Angel focusing on speed and in being as esoteric as possible, and Cannibal Corpse just being chaotic and utterly disgusting, Obituary chose to bulk it up, at their own crawling pace.
Eleven albums into their career, no one expects them to pull off a 180º, I surely don’t. Obituary is a band very aware of their strengths and their limitations, and in Dying of Everything
, they act accordingly. "Barely Alive", which starts the album at probably the fastest tempo they have performed in years, is already way above the material they have released in their last two albums. The opener is an absolute ripper, with Donald Tardy showing he hasn't forgotten how to go on full throttle on his drum set while Trevor Peres and Ken Andrews blast out stomping riffs and piercing solos at will. In spite of this solid start, the band's eleventh release doesn't keep the speed up for long, and so "The Wrong Time" rolls next with a power chord phrase that belongs to death metal as much as it belongs to a high school graduation ceremony teen metal band. It’s silly, it’s bumpy, but it’s also strangely engaging. What this second track undoubtedly achieves is putting you in Obituary mood instantly, because from there, the album just flows like a torrent of toxic lava all the way up to your brain, and it's just auto-headbanging mode all the way to the end.
There are a few pleasant surprises though. After four tracks I didn't expect the thrashy approach of the title track's first half, which brings the album back to speed, so to speak, or the inspired display of rifferies
in "Torn Apart". Some tracks like "Without a Conscience" or "Weaponize the Hate" certainly bring the OG feel of classic Obituary, with John Tardy roaring in tip top shape like not a year has passed since their 90s golden era.
For old school fans of the band, Dying of Everything
would be more than enough. It features amazing artwork from Polish artwork master Mariusz Lewandowski from before he sadly passed away last year, and a solid collection of tracks that range from blistering bangers to ground-shaving heavyweights, with none of them deviating not even an inch from the band's unmistakable sound. For newcomers, this might be an issue, as we're not in the 90s anymore, and to impress a new generation of metalheads that think this or that deathcore album “could use more blast beats”, Obituary would need to submit themselves to a change that isn't feasible or realistic. In fact, they don't need to, as Dying of Everything
very much proves that the Florida crew has already engraved their brand in the genre's tombstone, if the time ever comes to bury it, and that's more than many can say.