One of the greatest death metal bands of all time, Obituary from Tampa, Florida, are experiencing a surge of popularity again these days. Good for them and well-deserved, too! Those of you who have experienced John Tardy and his merry men live over the past couple of years will know that they represent the cream of the proverbial crop in today’s metal. They are damned good!
Much of their current popularity of course wouldn’t be there if it hadn’t been for the fact that they can also still make new music that is worth listening to. With ‘Inked in Blood’, Obituary released one of the best metal albums of the year in 2014, and, I believe, quite frankly surprised a lot of people with its sheer intensity and freshness.
With a tour coming up very soon and apparently not enough new material to put out an album proper, we get the second best from the Obi-guys; a live album including two new tracks. This is the first live album the Tampa legends have released since 1998’s ‘Dead’, and given the band’s popularity as a live band recently, it makes good sense to put a testimony of their onstage qualities out there.
First a word about the two new songs, though. As Obituary tunes go, they are in no way unusual. Loathe is reminiscent of Celtic Frost, which, again, isn’t at all unusual for Obituary. It’s like a slowly grinding wheel for the most part, only to pick up pace in sections. Truth be told, it’s not the most innovative or interesting Obituary tune, and with just over six minutes it turns out a bit long.
New song number two, Ten Thousand Ways To Die, picks up a bit more in terms of energy, but it somehow suffers from the same disease as Loathe; it’s very much straight forward Obituary with no surprising elements whatsoever, and that, I find, is a shame. When you have two songs to show that you’re moving forward, you better show that you mean business and leave me really hungry for the next real album!
Moving on swiftly to the live section, this is what truly drives this release. The strength of the songs of the setlist put together for the album is obvious. Although the recordings are from eleven different stages around the States, you’re easily fooled into simply thinking that this is one concert, and it could very well have been the awesome gig you attended. Yeah, I’ve seen Obituary a couple of times the past two years, and it’s been a gargantuan experience every time. I loved every second. From Redneck Stomp kicks off the festivities to Slowly We Rot ends the ball, necks are snapping and the floor is turned into a pit. There is no other way when the Tardy brothers, Terry Butler, Ken Andrews and Trevor Peres put their heads to entertaining a crowd.
The Battle of the Bays tour with Prong, Exodus and King Parrot takes place in Europe during the autumn. Will I be there? With Obituary and Prong on the bill? Do pigeons fly? Hell, yeah!
2. Ten Thousand Ways to Die
North American Tour “Live Set” Feb/Mar 2016
3. Redneck Stomp – The Mayan – Los Angeles
4. Centuries of Lies – Masquerade – Atlanta
5. Visions in my Head – Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore
6. Intoxicated – Revolution Center – Boise
7. Blood Soaked – Irving Plaza – New York
8. Dying – Metro – Chicago
9. Find the Arise – Opera House – Toronto
10. ‘Til Death – House of Blues – San Diego
11. Don’t Care – Club Red – Phoenix
12. Chopped in Half – The Ritz Ybor – Tampa
13. Turned Inside Out – The Ritz Ybor – Tampa
14. Slowly We Rot – Revolution Live – Fort Lauderdale
Playing time: 54 minutes
Release date: 21st of October, 2016
Label: Relapse Records