After 33 years of making joyously gnarly death metal records, keen observers may now be expecting Obituary to chill out a bit. Nope. Not happening. As if to hammer home the definitive nature of this self-titled effort, the Floridian crew’s tenth, opening track Brave starts like a bomb going off and then spends two minutes kicking the shit out of everything in sight.
Knocking on 50 these musicians may be, but age hasn’t mellowed them one iota. Neither has guitarist Trevor Peres’ knack for penning murderous riffs diminished over time. Whether rampaging at high velocity or serving up one of those viscous, churning grooves that have always set Obituary apart from their peers, these are songs constructed from the purest of deathly ingredients: the basics, if you will, delivered with maximum ferocity and verve by some of the genre’s all-time great exponents.
They’re not entirely immune to progress, however: Lesson In Vengeance takes Obituary, albeit briefly, into rumbling, stoner metal territory, but even Sabbathian swing sounds like a threat of violence in these gruesome craftsmen’s hands. Class is eternal, death is forever.