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Review: Obituary - Xecutioner's Return
Xecutioner's Return

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 40:38
Tracks: 11
Genre: Death Metal


Review online: August 12, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.06/5 (81.25%) (16 Votes)

Lots of hype about this album, the seventh full-length album from Florida Death Metal pioneers Obituary. Obituary's first two albums are landmarks in the Death Metal landscape, but since then they have had a hard time keeping up with their increasingly numerous progeny. This is their second 'reunion' album, and it's not bad.

We don't expect Obituary to evolve or change, we just want them to churn out some killer, face-smashing Death like in the old days. This is a pretty good album, and it is definitely Obituary, but it's not their best work. Overall this is a more conventional album than their early works, and takes no chances at all. The riffs are pretty good, but not as good as they used to be, the guitar tone is a bit weak for a Death Metal album, and John Tardy doesn't sound as good as he could. He's cleaned up his style, and is not as guttural as he once was, plus he sounds like he is growling actual lyrics, which are not his strong suit. Not once does he do the signature "Eeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuh" that we all love.

As always, when they slow down, Obituary produce their best stuff; like the crawling "Evil Ways" and the sludgy "Bloodshot". Faster cuts like album opener "Face Your God" are just dull 4/4 bashing, and the loud drum mix doesn't help matters, covering up the guitars. The leads on here are good, and very much in the vein of old Obituary, but again the guitar tone is not as harsh and evil as it should be.

I'm sure this will sell by the truckload, and Obituary fans should definitely get it. But this is certainly not the equal of Cause Of Death or Slowly We Rot – or even The End Complete. Once upon a time, Obituary were the grossest, most guttural, extreme Death Metal band in the world, but now they can't claim that anymore, and they have to rely on their songwriting, which is solid but unremarkable. This is a perfectly good Death Metal CD, but it is unfortunately not more than that.

More about Obituary...
Review: Cause of Death (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Darkest Day (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Dying of Everything (reviewed by Micah.Ram)
Review: Dying of Everything (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Obituary (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Slowly We Rot (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with bassist Terry Butler on August 30, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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