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Review: Obituary - Darkest Day
Darkest Day

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 53:39
Tracks: 13
Genre: Death Metal


Review online: September 8, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.81/5 (76.15%) (26 Votes)

Hard to believe this is the eighth full-length album from the venerable Obituary, one of the genre-defining bands of the late 80's. I thought Xecutioner's Return was competent if not really inspired, but then I don't really think any of this band's output is inspired once you get past the awesome debut. All we expect from Obituary is a solid Death Metal album, and usually we get it. The awful Tardy Brother's album from earlier this year gave me severe doubts about this one, but actually I find Darkest Day to be more entertaining than the album it follows.

Obituary have never been about speed or technicality or even originality, they just punch you in the gut with slow, churning riffs and John Tardy's hate-spewing vocals. Last time there was a more simplistic, sliiiightly deathcoreish vibe on some of the tracks, but Darkest Day pleases by being an unabashed and unapologetic Death metal album. The guitars sound meaner and heavier, though not as heavy as they could. John still doesn't do the "Eeeuuuuuugghhhh!" we want to hear, but he has amped up the intensity from last time, so he sounds much more urgent. Even on some of the band's classic tracks he growled so slowly he sounded half-asleep, but that never happens here. But overall, the best thing is that the riffs are just better this time out, with more chug and more hooks. There is the Obituary tendency to repeat things a bit too much, but it's not too bad this time. The leads are really quite good, and for once they seem to go with the song, rather than sounding pasted-on.

I am surprised by how cool an album this is. The recording job is like a throwback to 1988, and the songs are heavy, punishing, and actually catchy. John Tardy doesn't sound like he used to, but he sounds pretty good, and overall I think this is the best album they have done since the defining moment of Slowly We Rot twenty fucking years ago. It goes on a little longer than it needs to, and I think ten tracks would have been plenty, but this is a more than worthy addition to the Obituary catalogue.

More about Obituary...
Review: Cause of Death (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)
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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