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Review: Obituary - Cause of Death
Cause of Death

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1990
Duration: 41:21
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 26, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Cause of Death

Rated 4.06/5 (81.14%) (35 Votes)

After the subterranean malignancy of their debut, Slowly We Rot, a lot of people wondered if there was anywhere for Obituary to go, as that first album was so extreme in its loathsomeness there seemed no way for them to top it. They tried, and the result was an album that many consider to be their best work, though I myself think it is a bit of a step back.

Cause Of Death is Obituary made more accessible and catchy, which in my view is a definite minus. The album features chunkier riffing, with less of the evil doomy snarl of the first album, and is much more up-tempo. "Infected" is a pretty cool opener, with more of the feel of the last album, but "Body Bag" is kind of faceless, and it's not until the opening bellow of "Chopped In Half" that things really get moving. I don't know, this album tried really hard, but it's just not as good as Slowly We Rot — the riffs are not as good, the guitar tone is not as sick, and Tardy's signature vocals are more intelligible and less aggressive. People make a big deal about James Murphy's lead work on here, and I suppose it's okay, but the leads don't seem to have anything to do with the songs. It's like everything stops and HERE'S THE SOLO WHOOOOOOOOO! It gets really tedious after about the third song, as whenever the leads start, you know nothing cool will happen until Murphy stops noodling.

This album has a killer reputation, and it is certainly the second-best Obituary album overall, but it can hardly stand up to the mastery of their debut. If you already have Slowly We Rot, then you already have the only essential Obituary album, but this one is cool too.

Track Listing:
  1. Infected
  2. Body Bag
  3. Chopped in Half
  4. Circle of the Tyrants (Celtic Frost cover)
  5. Dying
  6. Find the Arise
  7. Cause of Death
  8. Memories Remain
  9. Turned Inside Out
Other related information on the site
Review: Darkest Day (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Obituary (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Slowly We Rot (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Xecutioner's Return (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with bassist Terry Butler on August 30, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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