Obituary - Cause Of Death review




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Reviewer:
9.0

479 users:
8.71
Band: Obituary
Album: Cause Of Death
Release date: September 1990


01. Infected
02. Body Bag
03. Chopped In Half
04. Circle Of The Tyrants [Celtic Frost cover]
05. Dying
06. Find The Arise
07. Cause Of Death
08. Memories Remain
09. Turned Inside Out
10. Infected [demo] [1997 remaster bonus]
11. Memories Remain [demo] [1997 remaster bonus]
12. Chopped In Half [demo] [1997 remaster bonus]


Long before the clean and crisp sounding, skull-splitting, face-melting, guttural, hyperactive instrumental aficionados of the modern death metal scene, there was Obituary.

Cause of Death may be the middle sibling, but this album certainly isn't overlooked. And for good reason. It features all the death metal staples bands are still replicating and honoring in their own way generations later: aggression, groove (so much groove!), technicality, brutality -- it's all there. But what tends to get lost in the overall discussion surrounding their earlier releases is the atmosphere, something which is exceedingly difficult to capture without feeling forced or out of place, particularly given the genre. While many successful death metal bands were focusing on similar elements in their approach to create a dynamic sound, Obituary didn't relinquish an iota of their extremity, where other bands tended to feel a little stripped of their intensity as a result.

For those who were never acquainted with the Obituary name, it's likely you've never bothered to delve into their catalog since they're probably just some overrated death metal band all the old guys hype up trying to re-live their rebellious youth, but you know better by now because every other time you've tried to explore this kind of music, you left with your initial negative perceptions reinforced. All these old bastards have no clue what actual good music is these days. "Shaking my head," as it were. The immaculate riffs and intricate solos not only stand up to the most technical death metal albums you can think of, but each song is written in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the importance of timing and mood. Snail-paced doomy passages permeate the hammer-smashed-face moments, creating a harsh and gritty tone underlined by a feeling of unease. Plus, you have an actual human drummer people can relate to who carries a beat and acknowledges his kit like its own working organic life form instead of just blastbeating his way to infinity and sporadically tapping the cymbals for fun. Fans of Origin to Visceral Disgorge (hi, that's me) can at least respect this for its parental attributes, if not for its similarity in tone.

This of course brings up the most disputed aspect of the band: John Tardy. He isn't equipped with the level of depth or pitch you hear from your average demon-possessed extreme metal vocalists nowadays, but his style is nothing if not unique. It's truly visceral, almost like it hurts him every time he spits his undoubtedly putrid words into the mic. It's not an immediate fist to the face, as they tease you with some of the good (guitar) stuff right at the beginning. But when he comes in right after... Well, let's just say he prepares you for the next 40-or-so minutes, emphasized by bringing his raspy, gnarly shouts to the forefront in the mix -- an almost offensively obvious decision just for the sake of it. Perhaps they wanted to weed out the posers, or in modern parlance, all those fake af bitches.

Basically, if you don't like this, they didn't want you to anyway. If you managed to tread through to the end and think you're some sort of badass as a result, well whoopty doo, get in line.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 08.09.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 41 users
08.09.2019 - 12:27
Bad English
Masterchief
Are you back in metal online front Again, and How long
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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08.09.2019 - 13:47
nikarg
Old Nick
Quote:
Basically, if you don't like this, they didn't want you to anyway.


Old bastard comment: "If you don't like this, death metal is not for you."
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08.09.2019 - 17:12
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 08.09.2019 at 13:47

Quote:
Basically, if you don't like this, they didn't want you to anyway.


Old bastard comment: "If you don't like this, death metal is not for you."


QFT
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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08.09.2019 - 17:59
cynicoren
Top album. I'd even give them 9 on originality since this is only their second album and their sound is much more polished than in the 1st album, and these are still the earlier days (should I say "best days" ?) of death metal. My favs are Infected, Chopped in Half and Find the Arise.
Great review.
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08.09.2019 - 19:50
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Love this album, though perhaps The End Complete more (acknowledge this is better, but TEC is just tied to personal experiences) ... fun memories. Loved in a shitty place that was five units in a horseshoe shape. the landlord bricked up the carports (open garage) to form add'l bedrooms to increase the capacity and rent. My room was the former carport, so my light was turned on from the adjacent kitchen, all my outlets were mounted to the wall rather than in it. No heating in winter, nor cooling in the brutal AZ summer. Room was massive enough that had tv stereo and cds in the front, full drum kit and guitar amps in the middle, bed and pc/office in the back 1/3rd.

Used to blare this, Vader, and Bolt Thrower while playing SNES games... Directly across from us was a Persian family, nice folks with a little girl of maybe 8. She could hear us blaring our music, and I guess John Tardy's vocals stuck with her.

My friend Todd and I were jamming one afternoon when another friend popped by. Apparently she was in the courtyard of the complex, just outside my room/windows, attempting to growl/shriek/yell along to our sonic mess.

I'd like to think she grew up to be a metal fan.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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09.09.2019 - 00:45
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by cynicoren on 08.09.2019 at 17:59
Top album. I'd even give them 9 on originality since this is only their second album and their sound is much more polished than in the 1st album, and these are still the earlier days (should I say "best days" ?) of death metal. My favs are Infected, Chopped in Half and Find the Arise.
Great review.

Thanks for the compliment. And that's actually a good point about the originality, it really does stand out even when held up to its "peers". Infected and Chopped in Half are also my favorites along with the title track, but I don't think any of the songs are bad and there's no filler. Every song feels intentional and has a purpose.
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I have no memory of this place.
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09.09.2019 - 00:52
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by BitterCOld on 08.09.2019 at 19:50
I'd like to think she grew up to be a metal fan.

You tainted this poor child with your devil music and I love it. Maybe she fronts an Obituary cover band at local bars to this day.
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I have no memory of this place.
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09.09.2019 - 01:43
EloZ
Cause of death, probably the death metal album I love the most. This album together with Slowly we rot, are the first extreme experience I had back in 1989 and 1990. I bought it only for the cover, without knowing what kind of music they played. What a surprise! I used to listen to Metallica and Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Kreator, back in those days. Obituary made me discover death metal. They created something, like pioneers in a savage world. I still have chills when I hear John Tardy's screams. I like Cause of death, Chopped in half, Infected...but I think all the songs of this album are awesome. This is my background. They were my personal Cause of Death, because after them I opened the gates of hell with Morbid Angel, Entombed, Sadus, Sepultura, Cannibal Corpse, Death...but for me, in the beginning there was Obituary! After 30 years Obituary are still my favorite death metal band and Cause of death is my first choice of their discography. Thanks for the great review of a milestone of metal!
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09.09.2019 - 02:15
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by EloZ on 09.09.2019 at 01:43
I bought it only for the cover, without knowing what kind of music they played.

I appreciate the kind words and the little anecdote. If only I ever got so lucky as to buy an album without hearing it and have it turn out to be something this good. All of my random buys have been decent at best.
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I have no memory of this place.
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10.09.2019 - 11:49
JēkabsFiļi
I really wonder how it is possible to rate it lower than 9.99. Still my favorite DM album since 1990
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