CD Review: Obituary – Inked In Blood

CD Review: Obituary – Inked In Blood
Relapse Records
All Access Rating: A-

Obituary - Inked In Blood 2014
The history of Obituary is a bloody one, and the body count is only going to go up with their Relapse Records release Inked In Blood, the pioneering death-metal maulers' latest aural massacre.

Just as the merciless Floridians' name is carved into a headless and legless torso on Inked In Blood's shockingly gruesome cover, so, too, does Obituary – on album No. 9 now – carefully cut menacing, growling riffs out of raging guitars, and they do it with more brawn, more bleak feel and malevolent tone than almost anybody else.

The dark, surging title track is the product of a diseased mind churning with violent thoughts, as heavy, deeply entrenched grooves are slowly and deliberately plowed into the desolate acres of blackened sonic earth titled "Deny You," "Pain Inside" and "Within a Dying Breed," as if Obituary is at the helm of some murderous tractor. More aggressive and fierce are "Visions In My Head," a swirling tempest of sound, and "Violence" and "Minds of the World," two incurable cases of rabid, rampaging madness that ought to be locked up for public safety. Even more ferocious, "Paralyzed With Fear" simply overwhelms the senses.

Not quite sludgy, but certainly methodical, with pummeling double-kick drum fury and tortured vocals, Inked In Blood has a grip as strong as the jaws of a pit bull, even if the tracks tend to blur together due to a lack of songwriting diversity and imagination. Still, when Obituary increases the speed or toys with tempo changes, the slight shifts are seamlessly executed and always interesting, and executed with brutally efficient.

No need to write that Obituary just yet. They're alive, and this lineup of John (vocals) and Donald (drums) Tardy, guitarists Trevor Peres and Kenny Andrews, and bassist Terry Butler is practically frothing at the mouth to show you just how powerful they are.
 – Peter Lindblad

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