Featuring two brand new studio songs and 12 live tracks recorded during their 2015 Inked in Blood world tour, this is a great release to either jump on the Obituary train if you haven’t managed to get into them before, (why not?), or if you’re already a fan and just need a new fix of their inimitable style.
The Obituary formula is a simple and strong one. The songs are straightforward, groovy, with memorable riffs and catchy vocals. That’s it. There’s no messing around and no frills. They play the classic old-school death metal style with their own unique take on it, and hopefully always will.
The two new tracks are instantly-recognisable as Obituary standards, and this is no bad thing. They arrive like old friends that cause a bit of a mess and a lot of carnage, but you’re always happy to see them regardless.
Once more we get a selection of top riffs with stomping drums and those oh-so unmistakably Obituary vocals. The singer’s voice has always been pretty special, and on these new songs it actually does sound better than ever in some ways.
The first of the new songs, Loathe, is a six-minute riff-fest that sees the band fluctuate between slow and mid-paced speeds. The song is utterly crushing with its monolithic assault, and it’s essentially an instrumental workout with the singer just shrieking and growling over the top of it here and there. Classic stuff.
The second new track, Ten Thousand Ways to Die, is almost half the length of the previous one and shows off their groovy assault. The interplay between the guitars and vocals has always been a key feature of the band’s music and this manifests very well on this song.
With two top-quality, instant-Obituary studio songs, the rest of the release is stuffed full of live tracks, making for a total album length of 55 minutes. More than enough meat to get your teeth into.
The song selection is a good mix of old and new, spanning material from 1989’s Slowly We Rot right up to 2014’s Inked in Blood. I’m sure that some might find issue with some songs that haven’t been included, but you can’t please everyone with this kind of thing. I think it’s a decent choice of tracks that showcases the trademark Obituary sound to good effect and the entire thing is very enjoyable.
The main issue I occasionally have with live albums is that the sound can sometimes be a bit dodgy. As you’d expect with a band of this calibre, this isn’t a concern here and these live songs sound pretty pristine.
This is a very enjoyable release; two new songs that continue the Obituary legacy and some killer live ones.
What’s to think about? Play it loud and get that head banging.