Obituary – Dying Of Everything (Relapse Records)

When Slowly We Rot slithered out of Florida’s swamps in ’89, it helped to define death metal as we know it.

Put that record alongside its successors, Cause of Death and The End Complete, and you have an unholy trinity that few bands could ever replicate.

Decay in sonic form. Total obliteration of the senses. That was the young Obituary’s stock-in-trade.

Even the band themselves have struggled to repeat what they created in DM’s halcyon days.  There’s no shame in that.

But Dying Of Everything runs those albums pretty damn close.

And as strong as 2014’s Inked In Blood and 2017’s self-titled effort were, Obituary’s 11th opus is irresistible.

That unstoppable primordial groove, the primal fretwork, those noxious guitar tones… it’s all there.

The album’s full force is unleashed as soon as Barely Alive escapes its shackles and claws your ear canals.

You’ll then get stuck in The Wrong Time, a temporal loop around ‘94’s pounding World Demise, with that familiar, brash Floridian stomp.

Without A Conscience? It’s without a single flaw as Trevor Peres and Ken Andrews lay down those viral riffs and lock in tight with Donald Tardy and Terry Butler.

And when Don’s brother John announces “I’ll take you to war” on – you’ve guessed it – War, you know he means it.

Want rapid fire neck snappers? Weaponize The Hate and Torn Apart are the go-to moments. Need something more dense? Check out Be Warned, which draws proceedings to an ominous conclusion, while dragging its listeners into the mire.

Whatever Obituary did to upgrade Redneck Studios – where the album was born over the pandemic – seems to have worked. Dying Of Everything sounds monstrous… and unashamedly organic.

But it’s the high grade writing, honed from years on the front lines, that really makes this record an early contender for Death Metal Album Of The Year.

It’s a simple, acidic formula.

The songs stick.

And then burn right through you.