Music / Obituary

An obituary is something you write about dead people in the newspaper....

Oh, you mean the band...

Obituary is a Death Metal band from Tampa, Florida. The band is considered one of the first true death metal bands, having emerged only a few short years after Possessed, Death, and the like. They were originally named Xecutioner, but changed it for unknown reasons. The band is the 5th best-selling death metal band of all time. They are known for their simplistic yet crushing sound, as well as their vocalist John Tardy's style, which consists of mainly clearer shouts as opposed to their genre's usual death growls. Their debut album, Slowly We Rot, was released in 1989. Their next album, Cause of Death, is considered to be a classic in the death metal genre. Afterwards, the band released three more albums before breaking up in 1997; The End Complete, World Demise, and Back from the Dead. They broke up because they were bored with touring. The band got back together six years later, and released their first album in eight years since their breakup, Frozen in Time, in 2005 to critical acclaim. The album also features one of their best-known songs; the instrumental track 'Redneck Stomp'. Two more albums were made and released by the band since, those two being Xecutioner's Return (a Shout-Out to their original name) and Darkest Day. A ninth album, or fourth since their reunion, was slated for 2012, but a couple years of Development Hell ended up pushing it to 2014. They have partnered with Relapse Records to release and promote the album, but it is currently not known if they will ink a deal with them. The album will be released October 28, 2014 and will be called Inked in Blood.

  • Slowly We Rot (1989)
  • Cause of Death (1990)
  • The End Complete (1992)
  • World Demise (1994)
  • Back from the Dead (1997)
  • Frozen in Time (2005)
  • Xecutioner's Return (2007)
  • Darkest Day (2009)
  • Inked in Blood (2014)

Obituary provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Kenny Andrews was a live lead guitarist before being made an official full-time member after Ralph Santolla (who, due to his duties in Deicide at the time, could not make quite a few tours) formally quit.
  • Epic Rocking: "Contrast the Dead" and "Left to Die."
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Gaia's Lament: World Demise has shades of this throughout. The music video for "Don't Care" really plays this up (be warned, contains possible Nausea Fuel).
  • Gorn: A common lyrical topic.
    • The cover for their upcoming album Inked in Blood features a headless, armless severed torso with the band's name carved into the chest. It's definitely not pretty. (warning: link may be NSFW)
  • Miniscule Rocking:
    • "Godly Beings" and "World of Evil" from Slowly We Rot.
    • Darkest Day has "Violent Dreams".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Unlike many other death metal bands, they usually settle on a solid 9/soft 10.
  • Rapunzel Hair: John Tardy and Trevor Peres.
  • Something Completely Different: The song "Bullituary" on Back from the Dead could best be described as rap death metal, as it features two rappers on the song. It's actually a remix of By the Light.
  • Sampling: Used on World Demise.
  • Saved from Development Hell: The ninth album slipped into Development Hell for a while after the band's release from Candlelight and subsequent inability to find a new label, and they ended up having to set up a Kickstarter to raise funds for an independent release. However, the band was able to raise $60,000 on a goal of $10,000, guaranteeing both the album's release and a set of documentary-style mini-films shot at Morrisound.
  • Sibling Team: The Tardy bros.
  • Signature Style: Dirty raw atmosphere, the instantly recognizable laid-back guitar style of Allen West, repetitive groovy riffs that will find their way into your head, and John Tardy's inimitable deranged wailing. Also, they tend to have more traditional song structures than most death metal bands, giving them a sound that is basically impossible to miss unless you know nothing about death metal.
  • Special Guest: James Murphy filled in for Allen West on Cause of Death, as West was on a leave of absence for unspecified reasons; given his track record, odds are good that it involved trouble with the law.
  • Trope Codifier: One of the trope codifiers for death metal, along with Deicide, Morbid Angel, and Cannibal Corpse.
  • The Unintelligible: Averted. Unlike nearly all death metal bands, there are times you can actually understand what John is saying. Sometimes, though.
    • Word Salad Lyrics: ...Except for the fact that John has stated that his lyrics mean nothing and that he just writes what he thinks fits the music.