Obituary, ‘Inked In Blood’ – Album Review
Obituary are the self-described cavemen of death metal. The Florida natives prefer to keep things on the simpler side of death metal, churning out pummeling grooves rather than the acrobatics that dominate modern death metal.
Complementing this caveman mentality, vocalist John Tardy provides the band with one of the most unique and instantly recognizable takes on the death metal growl. His tortured shrieks are barbaric, like a Neanderthal Bobcat Goldthwait.
With the aforementioned acrobatic style of death metal, it's refreshing to hear one of the pioneers still steamrolling the road they paved without compromising. We're sometimes distracted by all of the flashy guitar work in metal, forgetting how much we enjoy the simpler things. The band's new album, ‘Inked in Blood,’ strips away all of the fixings because sometimes you just want a cheeseburger.
In typical fashion, the band sear the bun with a scorching uptempo opener in ‘Centuries of Lies.’ John Tardy’s voice is the first thing heard, as his brother John keeps everything in rhythm behind the kit. The song is quite thrashy and redolent of ‘90s era Sodom and Canada’s Sacrifice.
‘Pain Inside’ begins the layer of cheese on this album with its slow chorus oozing out the sides. Obituary always throw in a couple songs dealing with inner struggles and insanity, which makes ‘Visions in My Head’ a fitting successor to ‘Pain Inside.’ This track gives way to the meat coming up, featuring acoustic guitars and a melodic solo to send everything off.
‘Inked in Blood’ serves up a mighty slab of beef over the next six tracks. Listeners get the full Obituary experience here, with a whirlwind of tempos between songs. ‘Violence’ and ‘Minds of the World’ are speedy songs, while ‘Back on Top,’ the title track, ‘Deny You’ and ‘Within a Dying Breed’ (which brings back their early Celtic Frost obsession) are absolute slugfests.
The final songs ‘Out of Blood’ and ‘Paralyzed’ wrap everything up, slowing things back down from the previous neckwrecker. The band fades out as they march back to their caves, satisfied with the meal they’ve just served up.