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Music / Obituary

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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, but a mixed response from fans. 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 partnered with Relapse Records to release and promote the album. The album was titled Inked in Blood was released on October 28, 2014. A couple years later, they released a Self-Titled Album, again with Relapse.

In early 2022, they announced that their 11th studio album had been completed and would be released sometime in the near future. Said album, Dying of Everything, was released in January 2023.


  • 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 (2017)
  • Dying of Everything (2023)

Obituary provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Ken Andrews was a live bassist before being made an official full-time member and lead guitarist 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."
  • 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 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)
  • Groove Metal: World Demise, though they were highly influential on the genre as a whole.
  • Instrumentals: "Redneck Stomp"
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The Self-Titled Album's cover art has the band's logo, in gold with some touch-ups, against a black background. That's it.
  • Miniscule Rocking:
    • "Godly Beings" and "World of Evil" from Slowly We Rot.
    • Darkest Day has "Violent Dreams".
  • Sampling: Used on World Demise, with a mix of movie clips and what sounds like heavy construction equipment (such as pile drivers).
  • Sibling Team: The Tardy bros.
  • Signature Style: Dirty raw atmosphere, the instantly recognizable laid-back guitar style of Allen West and Trevor Peres, 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.
  • Start My Own: After Allen West left and was kicked out of Six Feet Under, he started the band Lowbrow, who released two albums before he rejoined for Frozen in Time, and then formed Southwicked after he was released from prison. Since then, he's been inactive from music due to his legal issues.
  • Teen Genius: No one in the band was over the age of twenty when they got signed as Obituary, and both Donald Tardy and Trevor Peres were in their teens and fresh out of high school.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Known for being musically simpler than most bands in the genre, which has led them to be labeled "the AC/DC of death metal". Some of their songs have as little as two or three riffs total.
  • 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. However, he has recently stated that this mostly applies to their earliest material, as he has gradually become a little more focused lyrically over the years.