What felt so good about the return of Obituary in 2003 was how they brought back a blue-collar mentality that was missing from the scene.
No blastbeats, no frenetic solos, no ‘Ancient Ones’ quirky concept but riffs, riffs and nothing but friggin’ riffs and, besides John Tardy’s still-unrivalled inhuman shrieks, there was that addictive, stomping Celtic Frost groove. On the other hand, that no-frills and laidback attitude backfired somewhat, none of their three post-reunion albums making a lasting impression. Although it could hardly be seen as a huge departure, it should come as a relief that, beyond the gory artwork, Inked In Blood easily beats its three predecessors. Its more hardcore edge and sense of urgency gives the album a level of energy unheard since The End Complete. And while their new lead guitarist Kenny Andrews has vowed to follow Allen West’s path after the histrionics of Ralph Santolla, some surprising twin harmonies keep things interesting. Obituary’s first full-length in five years shows they still have some fire in them.