Genre: Death Metal
Label: Relapse Records
Obituary is one my favorite bands and one of the basic reasons I listen to this great music, as well as being involved in it. I am very strict when it comes to my favorite bands, and I don’t easily accept bad recordings, or not substantial reasons for their decline. Obituary and their latest albums have entered my “alarm zone”. After an amazing comeback album (“Frozen In Time” – 2005), Allen West was once again history for the legendary band, him and his great riffing and leads… This time there was no James Murphy to enter the band and work his magic (as happened back in 1990 with the masterpiece “Cause Of Death”), but Ralph Santolla. Santolla was not a bad guitarist; his playing style and leads however, had no compatibility with Obituary’s music. This cooperation resulted in the two weakest albums that have been released from the gods from Florida (“Xecutioner’s Return” – 2007 and “Darkest Day” – 2009). In all honesty, they weren’t bad albums; but they were far off all other Obituary releases, and certainly not what their fans deserve. The departure of Santolla and the live show I had the opportunity to watch some years ago (with only one guitarist, the god Trevor Perez) has filled me with hope and passion that the downfall has finally came to an end.
“Inked In Blood” proves me right! I have been waiting for such an album coming from Obituary for almost ten years. We are talking about an album that brings the band back to the elite. Heavy riffing the “celtic frost-ed way” as it must be played, with straight to the point leads by the new (and unknown) guitarist of the band Kenny Andrews; unique spitting lyrics from John Tardy; and of course, killing drums/bass lines, which are a trademark of the band through the years. There are furious tracks like “Violence” and “Centuries of Lies” (my favorites, both) written to be classics and make our necks break in the band’s future live shows. “Mind of the World”, a hymn to brutality with no more words to be said. Also ”Paralyzed with fear” and “Visions in my Head” are songs to be mentioned.
Of course, besides all the advantages that “Inked in Blood” has, there are and some drawbacks as well; such is the production, as well as the final mix: it is massive and powerful, but maybe it should be a little bit dirtier and raw. Finally, some tracks should have shorter length, as they get too repetitive (such as “Deny You” and the self-titled).
In conclusion, Obituary have returned with a really good album that shows that the Death Metal gods still have what it takes, and we hope they will do so in the future as well. Enjoy the listening, Ough!