This is a killer album – even for Obituary standards.
‘Darkest Day’ is the band’s to date most varied, nuanced and musically playful effort, combining elements from all of their previous albums plus their inspirational sources, ranging from Slayer to Celtic Frost. And Ralph Santolla has proved yet again to be a strong asset for the Tampa death metal veterans with his superb solo work – something that he shows us from the outset in opening track List of Dead.
Blood To Give takes over with a mighty rocking groove where Donald Tardy shows the more tribal-inspired side of his drumming. Sepultura have not lived in vain some might claim.
Lost is perhaps the most straightforward and typical Obi-track on this release. The most unusual thing about this tune is that John Tardy has been a real rhyme smith here…NOT! The only words growled are variations of ‘I’m lost inside you’ combined with shitloads of ‘aaargh’s’ and ‘grrrrr’s’. Funny thing is that it took me a couple of listens to realise that. Ha, nice one!
Outside My Head is a real staccato groover. It’s rap the death metal way. Abrupt, heavy, tons of rhythm. Very cool.
Payback draws on Celtic Frost when they were at their heaviest, yet rocking moments. This is a lesson in groove and catchiness, ladies and gentlemen!
The title track of the album has a slow, heavy intro that leads the thoughts back to Slayer’s Hell Awaits, underlined by the long stretch of howling guitars. Obituary works in a rocking, down-tempo feel, that picks up speed as we go along. Doomy shit that turns into faster, groovy shit and then turns into doomy shit again. Cool as fuck.
This Life brings the speed back with another typical Obituary track. Holds one of the coolest solos of the album.
See Me Know takes us a bit down in tempo again only to transform into a thrash inspired death metal thing.
The death metal thing continues in a big way with Fields of Pain. The focus in this song is mainly on the instrumental rather than the vocals, and the song flows like a river. Really, really cool solo work inside!
Violent Dreams is a straightforward thrasher just short of two minutes’ duration, tailor-made for mosh pits. The fifth solo of the song sounds like something out of a Malmsteen record. Again: Nice one!
Truth Be Told concludes the album with a half-tempo groove, with some double bass drum blasts from Mr. Tardy.
11 strong tunes from a band that seems more lively and creative than ever! Go get!