Album Review – Obituary / Dying of Everything (2023)

It’s time to die to the sound of the instantly memorable newborn beast by Florida’s undisputed Death Metal heavyweight champions.

If you’re a diehard fan of old school Death Metal, you already know that legendary Gibsonton, Florida-based death metallers Obituary returned to the battlefield last week with their newborn sonic attack, entitled Dying of Everything, the follow-up to their 2017 self-titled album. Recorded by the band at their home studio named RedNeck Studios, mixed by Joe Cincotta at Full Force Studio, and displaying a beautiful yet sinister artwork by Polish artist Mariusz Lewandowski (R.I.P.), Dying Of Everything destroys in the time-honored tradition of early Obituary classics Slowly We Rot and Cause of Death while maintaining the killer studio sound that the band has been perfecting since their 2007 opus Xecutioner’s Return, therefore solidify their legacy as a Death Metal institution and showcasing all the talent and brutality by frontman John Tardy, guitarists Kenny Andrews and Trevor Peres, bassist Terry Butler and drummer Donald Tardy.

The album begins in full force to the sound of the frantic and demonic Barely Alive, where Donald crushes his drums mercilessly in the name of our good old Death Metal. Put differently, what an insane tune by Obituary, and they continue their violent attack in The Wrong Time, which I had the pleasure of seeing live before the album was released when they opened for Amon Amarth in Toronto in December 2022, being absolutely solid, furious and perfect for some sick headbanging. The dirty bass by Terry together with the razor-edged riffage by Kenny and Trevor offer John exactly what he needs to distill his venomous roars in Without a Conscience, sounding neck-breaking and vibrant until the very end, whereas the band then darken the skies to the sound of the sick and vile War, where John once again growls majestically throughout the entire song in a lecture in old school Death Metal. And putting the pedal to the metal it’s time for the title-track Dying of Everything, showcasing an amazing guitar job done by Kenny and Trevor.

In My Will to Live we’re treated to wicked lyrics vociferated by John (“Bury me with a cross, with the cross tide / My will / Sentence me to the sand, liquify / My will to live / My will to live”) amidst a sinister and heavy atmosphere, followed by By the Dawn, featuring a guest guitar solo by David Austin of Nasty Savage, offering us all more of the band’s classic Death Metal spearheaded by the pounding beats by Donald. Then get ready to crush your damned body into the circle pit to the sound of Weaponize the Hate, with the whole band being in absolute sync and, therefore, turning it into one of the best moments of the album hands down; whereas their guitars keep cutting our skin deep without mercy in Torn Apart, another extremely well-crafted tune that represents the past, present and future of Obituary, with John sounding even more enraged than before. Lastly, although heavy and obscure, the mid-tempo Be Warned doesn’t bring the same energy as the rest of the album. John has an excellent vocal performance as usual, though, and the song is still very enjoyable.

In a nutshell, Obituary killed again with dying of Everything, which is by the way available for a full listen on Spotify, proudly keeping the torch of old school Death Metal burning bright wherever they go. Hence, don’t forget to follow those veterans on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on, to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their wicked music and videos, and above all that, to grab a copy of such flammable album from their own BandCamp page, from the Relapse Records webstore, or simply click HERE to get your desired version of the album. Dying Of Everything is instantly memorable, and it will surely inspire the band to keep moving forward no matter what. “I think it comes down to passion,” said John. “I say this all the time, but if something’s not fun, I’m not gonna do it. And we’re having more fun than ever.” Well, thank you, John and the rest of Obituary, for such fun album!

Best moments of the album: Barely Alive, War, Weaponize the Hate and Torn Apart.

Worst moments of the album: Be Warned.

Released in 2023 Relapse Records

Track listing
1. Barely Alive 3:32
2. The Wrong Time 4:28
3. Without a Conscience 4:28
4. War 4:25
5. Dying of Everything 4:43
6. My Will to Live 5:20
7. By the Dawn 4:35
8. Weaponize the Hate 4:00
9. Torn Apart 3:37
10. Be Warned 5:49

Band members
John Tardy – vocals
Kenny Andrews – lead guitars
Trevor Peres – rhythm guitars
Terry Butler – bass
Donald Tardy – drums

Guest musician
David Austin – guitar solo on “By the Dawn”

Concert Review – Amon Amarth (History, Toronto, ON, 12/02/2022)

A beautiful night where all Vikings of Toronto put their backs into the oar and rowed in the name of heavy music together with the one and only Amon Amarth. 

OPENING ACTS: Cattle Decapitation, Obituary and Carcass

The last concert of 2022 (at least for me) couldn’t have been any better, as Toronto had the pleasure of hosting The Great Heathen Tour 2022 at this amazing new venue called History, which was by the way inaugurated in November 2021 and belongs to Toronto’s own rapper Drake, with the bands CATTLE DECAPITATION, OBITUARY, CARCASS and the unstoppable heathen horde AMON AMARTH. The venue is in a nice area of the city, near the beaches, with plenty of parking options and decent places to eat nearby such as The Burger’s Priest, making the whole experience a lot more enjoyable than going to a concert at Rebel, for example.

And everything was so well-organized, from the line to get into the venue to the merch booths, bars and coat check, that between the doors opening at 5:30pm and the first concert I had time to do all that and still had 15-20min left before American Progressive Death Metal/Grindcore outfit CATTLE DECAPITATION hit the stage at 6:30pm sharp with their vicious sonic attack. Still promoting their 2019 album Death Atlas, the band spearheaded by frontman Travis Ryan needed less than a minute to inspire the crowd to create a massive circle pit in the middle of the floor section, and that circle pit went on and on until the very end of their concert (and of the entire night, I might say). Moreover, although their setlist was extremely short, it was solid enough to put a smile on the faces of their diehard fans, with the pulverizing Bring Back the Plague being the icing on the cake of their great performance.

Setlist
Anthropogenic: End Transmission
The Geocide
Vulturous
The Great Dying Pt. II
Finish Them
We Eat Our Young
Time’s Cruel Curtain
Bring Back the Plague

Band members
Travis Ryan – vocals
Josh Elmore – lead guitars
Belisario Dimuzio – rhythm guitars
Olivier Pinard – bass
David McGraw – drums

If you’re familiar with the laws, rules and regulations in Toronto you know that most concerts must finish by 11pm depending on the neighborhood where the venue is located, so you can imagine that with four amazing bands like the ones from last night there weren’t any huge breaks in between bands. That being said, I had time to grab a quick beer before one of the biggest Death Metal institutions of all time, the unstoppable OBITUARY, began their insane performance led by the iconic vocalist John Tardy and the crushing drums by his younger brother Donald Tardy. It was again a short but precise and infernal performance by those American death metallers, blending their old school stuff the likes of I’m in Pain with a brand new song from their upcoming 2023 album Dying of Everything, the demolishing The Wrong Time, and by the reaction of the crowd to each and every song played by Obituary we know they’ll keep moving forward no matter what for many years to come. Needless to say, I can’t wait for Dying of Everything next year.

Setlist
Snortin’ Whiskey (Pat Travers Band song)
Redneck Stomp
Sentence Day
A Lesson in Vengeance
Visions in My Head
Circle of the Tyrants (Celtic Frost cover)
The Wrong Time
I’m in Pain
Don’t Care

Band members
John Tardy – vocals
Kenny Andrews – lead guitars
Trevor Peres – rhythm guitars
Terry Butler – bass
Donald Tardy – drums

Another short break, another beer, and then it was finally time for my first ever face-to-face meeting with England’s own Melodic Death Metal/Death ‘n’ Roll trailblazers CARCASS, one of the very few bands I’ve always been a fan of but that I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing live. Still promoting their fantastic 2021 album Torn Arteries, Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, Tom Draper and Daniel Wilding put on a marvelous show for the delight of all fans at the venue, igniting some sick mosh pits to the sound of Incarnated Solvent Abuse, This Mortal Coil, Genital Grinder, and my favorite Carcass song of all time, Heartwork. Hopefully, Carcass will keep delivering amazing material such as Torn Arteries in the coming years, which means more world tours of course, because Toronto loves Carcass and we’re eager to see them again in a not-so-distant future.

Setlist
The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (Intro)
Buried Dreams
Kelly’s Meat Emporium
Incarnated Solvent Abuse
Under the Scalpel Blade
This Mortal Coil
Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B)
Genital Grinder
The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing
Corporal Jigsore Quandary
Heartwork
Carneous Cacoffiny (Outro)

Band members
Jeff Walker – vocals, bass
Bill Steer – guitars, backing vocals
Tom Draper – guitars
Daniel Wilding – drums

AMON AMARTH

At long last, just like what happened with Cannibal Corpse, the unparalleled Swedish Melodic Death Metal horde AMON AMARTH was finally able to return to Canada after three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the wait was beyond worth it as their concert yesterday in Toronto was superb to say the least. Those Swedish Vikings kicked some serious ass from the very first second of the classic Guardians of Asgaard (and yes, they’re starting their shows this tour already with a bang), with frontman Johan Hegg being on fire with his deep roars and a very respectful beard. All songs form their 2022 album The Great Heathen Army sounded fantastic live, in special the title-track The Great Heathen Army, adding an extra taste to their incendiary setlist full of classic songs including Destroyer of the Universe and Shield Wall.

The most memorable moment for all fans at the venue was undoubtedly when the band played their new hit Put Your Back Into the Oar, when halfway through it the whole floor section sat down and began rowing like in a Viking ship. That was amazing, really, really fun, proving Amon Amarth are one of those bands that know exactly how to captivate their audiences and interact with each and every fan in the most exciting way possible. If you’re attending one of their upcoming concerts, don’t forget to join the rowing. Their music is awesome, their stage is getting better and better with each tour, but the rowing is something so unique I think it should be mandatory for anyone who purchases a ticket to participate. I can’t wait for the next time Amon Amarth takes the city of Toronto by storm, and I’ll surely be there to put my back into the oar again! ROW! ROW! ROW!

It’s always great to enjoy a night of heavy music in Toronto, to share a few beers with your friends, and to see several familiar faces in the crowd. However, there was one of those familiar faces missing, and it was THE MOST familiar face of the Toronto metal scene. Our beloved super metal fan Walter Froeberich passed away on November 26 after trying to get help for nearly ten days for a serious abdominal pain, but he was allegedly sent home with just some antibiotics and, sadly, died at home in the end. His closest friends organized a protest in front of St. Joseph’s Hospital today demanding justice for Walter, and I really hope something is done to make sure that type of situation doesn’t ever happen again with anyone else in Toronto. I didn’t formally know Walter, but I’ve shared the pit with him many, many times and I’ll miss him in all future concerts in the city. When Amon Amarth played the excellent Raise Your Horns, I raised my horns for Walter, and I’m sure one day I’ll say hello to him in person when we meet in Valhalla again.

Setlist
Run to the Hills (Iron Maiden song)
Guardians of Asgaard
Raven’s Flight
Deceiver of the Gods
Oden Owns You All
The Pursuit of Vikings
The Great Heathen Army
Get in the Ring
Destroyer of the Universe
Put Your Back Into the Oar
Cry of the Black Birds
The Way of Vikings
First Kill
Shield Wall
Raise Your Horns

Encore:
Twilight of the Thunder God

Band members
Johan Hegg – vocals
Olavi Mikkonen – lead guitar
Johan Söderberg – rhythm guitar
Ted Lundström – bass
Jocke Wallgren – drums