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Obituary: Inked In Blood

Tampa, Florida's Obituary began death (life) in 1984 under the name Executioner. Over the next thirty years they have managed to purvey a consistent sound from which they rarely deviate, with varying degrees of success. Surviving lineup changes and even a hiatus between 1997-2003, founding members John and Donald Tardy, along with long-time guitarist Trevor Peres, soldier on with Terry Butler on bass and newcomer Kenny Andrews on guitar. A lot of metal fans lost interest in Obituary following 1994's The End Complete

2014 sees them releasing an album they raised over $60,000.00 to make on Kickstarter. Entitled Inked In Blood, one sees the beheaded torso on the cover with the unmistakeable logo carved into its sternum, and longtime fans may hold out hope that a return to the gut squishing morbidity of their first few albums is in store for them. At first listen, opener 'Centuries of Lies' comes off far more hardcore than traditional death metal, as John Tardy's voice especially sounds more suited to something on Victory Records than one might expect. Similar in style to 'Threatening Skies' off 1997's Back From The Dead album, it fails to fully punch in the gut the way that song did as an album opener.

The next few songs return us to a slower, down-tuned flavor much more synonymous with what fans have enjoyed about Obituary's oeuvre. 'Visions In My Head' is extremely catchy, if a bit less chaotic than the greats off of Slowly We Rot. Nevertheless, this song will demolish mosh pits for years to come. The trouble on this album comes when you get to songs like 'Back On Top' and the title track. The riffs feel endlessly recycled from past works, and the arrangements once again scream generic hardcore. The pattern doesn't infest the entire album, as songs like 'Violence' showcase what this band is/was really good at.

If you are new to Obituary, you'd better serve yourself by diving into their first three albums. If you have been happy with what they've done since reforming in 2003, then Inked In Blood probably has a lot of moments on it that will please you. Its not like Obituary have completely lost the script here. Its just that, in a world that includes comeback albums like Carcass' Surgical Steel and At The Gates At War With Reality, and also boasts the consistently blistering output of Napalm Death and Immolation, the old guard is proving they can still churn out amazing and innovative music. Obituary needs to challenge themselves and their fans a little bit more; Inked In Blood isn't terrible, but it's not nearly as solid an effort as it will take to keep Obituary on pace with their peers.


Track Listing
1. Centuries of Lies 2:08
2. Violent by Nature 4:33
3. Pain Inside 4:36
4. Visions in My Head 4:14
5. Back on Top 4:30
6. Violence 2:06
7. Inked in Blood 4:13
8. Deny You 4:49
9. Within a Dying Breed 5:36
10. Minds of the World 3:24
11. Out of Blood 3:19
12. Paralyzed with Fear 5:38

Added: November 28th 2014
Reviewer: Nicholas Franco
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1195
Language: english

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