Darkest Day

Written by: EW on 29/06/2009 11:03:12

The mighty Floridians Obituary define solid reliable DM more than anyone else in the genres' long and storied history, where upon the release of album number 8, "Darkest Day" any past fan will know exactly what they are going to be served - solid meat and potatoes Celtic Frost-inspired death metal. The only question is, will it be Michelin star rated meat and spuds or Tesco value after a couple of albums following reformation that were not of the previous inspired Obituary ilk?

Such is their resolute determination in sticking to the same sound Obituary have, in my opinion, become quite a challenge for the listener in seeing if one can still stomach more of the same. After all, Bolt Thrower haven't changed a great deal, but enough to keep going and pushing each album forward. The differences between Obituary records can be smaller than that. The last couple of albums have benefitted through the presence of Ralph Santolla, ex of Deicide among others, who's skills on the axe add greater dynamism and presence in the solos department than those of Allen West ever did. Asides though, you will always know when you hear John Tardy crooning above monolithic crushing death metal just who the band is so you could say their legacy is well secured. But just to be safe lets check in on "Darkest Day".

It begins encouragingly enough with "List of Dead", a tune high on foot-tap-ability and general good time chug. It will also remind, incase you'd forgotten, that production values have virtually stalled for Obituary since about 1991 - the band still reek of the Morrisound far unlike any of the other bands who debuted with that sound nigh on two decades ago now. Of course the pace is mixed up where faster tracks like "Lost" intermingle with the grinding DM that Obituary made their name in, such as "Your Darkest Day", a song that sounds very similar to the cult deceased doom band Winter (check out "Eternal Frost"). And good riffs can be found aplenty, "Payback" and "Violent Dreams" both being fine examples of this quality. But as I'm sure you can tell not all is sweet and rosy. The feeling of Obituary going through the motions it at times a little too hard to take, resulting in the fact Obituary are never to produce another truly exciting album, without significant stylistic changes.

The simple summation is "Darkest Day" represents an improvement on the lackluster "Xecutioner's Return" and is a very solid meat 'n' potatoes meal but don't come into this dinner expecting anymore.

Download: List of Dead, Lost, Your Darkest Day
For The Fans Of: Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Deicide, Malevolent Creation
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 30.06.09
Candlelight Recordings

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