Ten Thousand Ways to Die
Relapse Records/Rocket Distribution
Reviewed By Simon Milburn
I like that Obituary are still going after all these years. Sure they enjoyed the usual hiatus there for a few years - seven in fact, but when they returned with 2005’s Frozen in Time, it was clear the band never missed a beat. Truth be told, same can be said of almost their entire discography right back to their seminal 1989 debut Slowly We Rot. These Floridians are dependable. I know what to expect from an Obituary release and dagnabbit they deliver time and time again. With nine studio albums under their belt, and a single EP and a single live album also to their name, the band have opted to follow up 2014’s excellent Inked in Blood with a new two track single, that as a bonus also features live versions of eleven killer Obituary cuts.
One of the reasons this band can be considered dependable is the core trio of vocalist John Tardy, his drummer brother Donald, and he-of-blood-soaked-crushing-death-metal-riffs guitarist Trevor Peres. Whilst they have undergone a few line-up changes over the years, this core has been fundamental in not only defining the bands unmistakable sound, but solidifying their rightful place in the annals of metal history.
It should be of no surprise that the opening cut is undeniably Obituary sounding. Peres’ thick, chunky, dense guitar tone sets the scene once more for a brief aural assault of the first new Obituary material in a couple of years. Clocking in at just over six minutes of plodding Obituary style death metal, “Loathe” is the pick of the two new tracks. The title track is half the length and slightly more up tempo by comparison to the first. It’s a stomper though with it’s off beat rhythms and is yet another strong outing from the quintet.
The next eleven tracks are a variety of live cuts spanning the bands career that were all recorded by the band’s live engineer Joe Cincotta from Full Force Studio during the band’s most recent U.S. tour. There are subtle differences in the sound on each track but as they were recorded live and have not been altered with any post production. It’s as raw and as uncompromising as you’d expect from Obituary. It’s exactly what you get from their live show, so these live renditions will surely please the diehard fans as they flesh out this release.
It might be a few more months until the band’s tenth long player drops. In the meantime, Ten Thousand Ways to Die will have to keep the masses satisfied. If these new tracks are anything to go by, then there’s a good chance we’ll have another killer album ahead of us that will proudly take its place within the bands catalogue.