Legends never die. And no genre of music is better at proving that statement than metal. We embrace our roots like no other type of music. While country has its fundamentalists that shun the new pop-flavored trend, and rap has the thugs that only get down with 90’s hip-hop, neither can hold a flame to metal’s love of nostalgia. Hell, in metal, our love of rudimentary groups runs so deep, we have our own stereotype of people. You know the type, the dude at the show who trashes every single thing that came out after …And Justice for All, still rocks the Peace Sells shirt they bought on the original tour and yells for every band to play SLAYER even though they likely won’t.
Now don’t jump to conclusions about my point, because I’m not saying this is a bad thing. This tendency has been pivotal to the lasting power of our genre. And it has allowed OBITUARY, one of the founding fathers of death metal, to record their newest release independently. Their ninth record, and the first in five years, Inked In Blood came to fruition through generous support via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and will be distributed in wide release through Relapse Records on October 28.
On this disc, the group strays a bit from their trademark sound, instead, opting for a feel that fits more in the vein of thrash than straight ahead death metal on some songs. “Centuries of Lies”, “Violence”, and “Minds of the World” are the best example of this, offering a high energy drive that is more Bay Area speed than Florida death. Further, the group also takes time to play with tempos on the disc, the title track, as well as “Pain Inside”, and “Deny You” all showing favor to the slow beating of churning mid-tempo riffs to find their weight. In fact, “Violent by Nature” proves to be one of the few tracks that play through as a closer reminder to the group’s traditional sound.
Overall, Inked in Blood keeps things very interesting throughout, though. Being one who quickly becomes bored with the lack of dynamics in thrash metal, I really appreciated the moments of respite that were provided by countering those faster songs with the churning pace of songs like “Visions in My Head” (The Maestro and I don’t agree often, but we both loved this track!). In addition, the guitar leads were perfectly executed, showing a very clear reason why the wah pedal is a necessity among all rocking an axe. The drums were crisp and on point, and the vocals were up front, and aggressively in your face. I didn’t donate to help OBITUARY release this record; however, if I had known this would be the product, my wallet would have leaped out of my pocket. In hindsight of not donating then, I will be donating now by picking up a copy on October 28 and I suggest you do the same.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Centuries of Lies”, “Violence”, “Pain Inside”, “Inked in Blood”, “Visions in My Head”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE