Obituary’s Slowly We Rot and Cause Of Death are considered genre-defining, classic death metal albums. To my ears though, aside from the vocals and “shocking” concepts, nothing about the band ever really struck me as overly brutal, let alone impressive. The basic riffs, sludgy playing, and overall repetitive ideas they champion make them something more akin to down tuned punk than anything else.
Whatever… genre tags don’t make music good or bad. If you like Obituary, I’m sure Darkest Day will satisfy your desire for yet another serving of the sound of decomposing organic matter dripping down a cement wall. For myself, I just don’t see the relevance in 2009 of thirteen simplistic, plodding, and downright bizarre tunes.
On their Myspace page, Obituary refer to themselves as “the heaviest band in the world”. Such a statement gives me the impression these guys were considered brutal and edgy in ‘89 and have been riding that wave ever since, completely comfortable in and oblivious to their non-evolution. Every band that started at the same time as them has in one way or another adapted to survive, Cannibal Corpse being the most relevant example.
Either way, it seems like there are legions of longtime fans that will support Obituary no matter what they do. It’s just their ability to attract new, younger ones that I doubt.