CD Review: ‘Inked in Blood’ by Obituary

The old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke do not fix it.” There is another old adage that states, “change is good.” Either statement works depending on the situation. Obituary, the legendary Floridian death metal band, has adhered to the former for 30 years. Inked in Blood is the group’s newest album in five years and the group has not lost their step. The album begins in thrashing fashion with “Centuries of Lies.” It is a quick 2-minute number that twists and turns with attitude. The first single off the record, “Violent by Nature,” offers a crushing groove with drummer Donald Tardy pounding away like he is marching off to war. The band’s signature swampy distortion is in full effect on this track and is sure to become a fan favorite. The groove continues on “Pain Inside,” which stops and starts like a tank struggling through a trench. Vocalist John Tardy’s guttural vocals are fairly decipherable on this track as he screams “I’m coming to get you and your soul!” Painful indeed. The punky “Violence” is a break from the slower tracks on the record and harkens the speed from the band’s 1989 debut Slowly We Rot. The highlight, however, is the title track. The frightening, ambivalent riff is simple, but will stick in your head. Again, the group plays slow, as the molten riffs burn everything is sight. Album closer “Paralyzed in Fear” is another brutal song, with guitarists Trevor Perez and Kenny Andrews playing some sick, crunching riffs.

Inked in Blood is not as exciting or groundbreaking as Slowly We Rot or Cause of Death. The album is Obituary by the numbers, which will excite some fans and disappoint others. However, the record is notable for its solid and clear production. In the end, Inked in Blood is a good record. Yet, when several bands, including Behemoth, Exodus and At the Gates have released strong comeback records, Inked in Blood is slightly underwhelming. However, at the end of the day it is Obituary, and goodness knows the world needs Floridian death metal.

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