Dying of Everything

Florida’s Obituary needs no introduction, being one of the legitimately legendary American Death metal bands, if not the godfathers of the genre. From genre-defining classics like Slowly We Rot and Cause of Death to their post-hiatus offerings like Inked in Blood,  Xecutioner’s Return, and Darkest Day you know what you are getting. That said, 2017s, tenth self-titled album, seemed to show signs of a band in decline and running out of ideas.

But when Dying of Everything was announced, adorned with the last album artwork from the legendary artist Mariusz Lewandowski (RIP), (rather than the lazy logo-only artwork from the self-titled album) and the first single “The Wrong Time”, there was some hope, and I happy to report that Dying of Everything is one of the band’s better post-hiatus albums.

This may scare some folks off depending on how you feel about these albums, but I’m getting a The End Complete meets World Demise vibe from Dying of Everything. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but the balance of swampy grooves and more feral numbers seems to have that same balance, intensity, and modern sheen, minus the industrial, awkward mid-90s transitional sound that everyone had at that time.

As is the norm for the band’s recent output, you get a fast, urgent opener in “Barely Alive” before the aforementioned “The Wrong Time” delivers one of the band’s signature trundles. And while the band isn’t quite as ‘brutal’ as they were when you first heard them in 1989, (in particular, John Tardy is far more annunciated than he’s ever been), and those lurches are less icky and Celtic Frost based, with the last few albums, they have locked into a perfect, for lack of a better term, “Redneck Stomp” (a song from 200s Frozen in Time) sound that embodies their past and present perfectly.

That distinctly Obituary sound continues for “Without a Conscience” and “War”, until the title track (penned by newish guitarist Ken Andrews) gets a little more urgent, and less definably Trevor Peres sounding. “My Will to Live” recalls Metallica’s “Creeping Death” at times, with a simple crawl and chug. Then we get one of the album’s standouts in “By The Dawn”, one of the better songs the band has delivered over the last few albums.

There is a bit of a late album lull with “Weaponize the Hate” and “Torn Apart” but the mix from Joe Cincotta is locked in, delivering a perfect tone that melds sweaty, fuuzy heft, and razor-sharp, regardless if the riff kills or is merely a bit of a rehash. It’s nowhere more apparent than for the album’s final, murky, killer standout, almost 6-minute track, “Be Warned’ which ends things rather ominously.

Dying of Everything is better than the self-titled release, but not quite as good as the three albums that proceeded it. It’s a solid entry to the band’s discography and does nothing to tarnish their substantial legacy. And while the adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, seem fitting, that’s OK when these truly old dogs don’t need any new tricks, as the ones they know, they have perfected over 30 years.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 9th, 2023


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