Conjure and Command: Toxic Holocaust

Rating: 80%

IConjure_and_commandn 2011, Toxic Holocaust released in what I would say is a Sodom style like Trash Metal album that isn’t too shabby. In fact, I think that this album is a solid release.

Joel Grind really throws out some very heavy riffs and leads. His raspy vocal style gives a bit of eeriness to the overall sound.  Phil Zeller has some decent bass lines, but the backbone really goes to Nick Bellmore on the skins.

Musically, it’s got a lot of energy and power. The song structures are very short, which is what classic Thrash Metal used to do. The entire album is less than 33 minutes long. Now, there’s isn’t anything new on this album that hasn’t already been done.  But, this a way to introduce classic and old school Thrash Metal to a new generation. Toxic Holocaust just steps up to the plate and updates this style of metal into their own, adding a dash of Speed Metal and Black Metal to the final product. That is what I really admired about this album when I first heard it.

Track listing:

No. Title Length
1. “Judgment Awaits You” 1:55
2. “Agony of the Damned” 3:59
3. “Bitch” 2:49
4. “Red Winter” 3:32
5. “Nowhere to Run” 3:46
6. “I Am Disease” 4:24
7. “In the Depths (Of Your Mind)” 2:43
8. “The Liars Are Burning” 2:54
9. “Revelations” 2:50
10. “Sound the Charge” 3:17

Obituary: Obituary

Rating:90%

Obituary_-_ObituaryFor over 30 years, the boys from FLA have been throwing death growls and heavy music. 2017 is no exception with the self-titled release. John Tardy still proves that his vocals are showing no signs of wearing down. His brother, Donald is still pounding those skins as he did back in 1989 when the first release “Slowly We Rot” came out. Trevor Peres still throws out these mighty and crunchy riffs. Pounding the bass is Terry Butler and throwing down on the lead guitar is Kenny Andrews.

Going off of their material from their last release “Inked In Blood”, Obituary proves that if the wheel isn’t broken, then don’t fix it. That is exactly what this album represents. Meaning the song structures are basically the same. Now, many newer fans to the band, hate the fact that Obituary’s style isn’t what it was now as to their earlier material. What do you expect?

Musically, this album is high energy from start to finish. With monstrous fast riffs, screaming leads & fills, hard pounding drumming and screaming vocals. This album is like a freight train running at full speed ahead.  “Sentence Day” is a great example of how powerful this band can be. This album does have a nice change of tempos, after full speed on the first two tracks, the album slows down by just letting off of the throttle with “A Lesson in Vengeance.” This song also features some really good bass lines that are clearly heard as well as a kick ass lead solo. “Straight to Hell” is a bit more complex and features all of these very weird off beats.

For their tenth album, yes, I will admit that this is the same album that has been released over and over again. I would rather have that, than nothing at all. Many bands that have been around for twenty-five plus years all have released the same album. I would diffidently recommend this to any one who is into classic Death Metal.

Track listing:

1. “Brave” 2:14
2. “Sentence Day” 2:49
3. “A Lesson in Vengeance” 3:07
4. “End It Now” 4:02
5. “Kneel Before Me” 3:04
6. “It Lives” 3:24
7. “Betrayed” 3:01
8. “Turned to Stone” 4:13
9. “Straight to Hell” 3:57
10. “Ten Thousand Ways to Die” 3:16

Bonus track:

1. No Hope

Embedded: Meathook Seed

Rating: 80%

Meathook_Seed_-_Embedded.pngIn 1993, musicians from two bands came together to form a side project called Meathook Seed. It features Obituary drummer Donald Tardy and guitarist Trevor Peres, who is the main vocalist for this album. It also features Napalm Death guitarist Mitch Harris on guitars and bass along with the programming.

This project is a decent collaboration of combining elements of Hardcore Punk, Death Metal with Industrial Metal. The result is a sound that is very huge and rich. The guitars are polished with a rich sound. There are some very weird guitar riffs on this album that isn’t overwhelming. It’s hardcore, thrashy, and yet, heavy enough using the elements of Death Metal. The bass lines are the same way. The drumming is progressive, heavy, and monstrous. Donald Tardy plays a very tight shift. The electric sound of the programming is another feature one will notice. It’s well balanced and doesn’t take away from the overall sound. This is a good overall album that is somewhat a forgotten record.

Track listing:

1. “Famine Sector” 4:09
2. “A Furred Grave” 3:47
3. “My Infinity” 3:01
4. “Day of Conceiving” 3:20
5. “Cling to an Image” 2:48
6. “A Wilted Remnant” 4:34
7. “Forgive” 3:24
8. “Focal Point Blur” 3:04
9. “Embedded” 2:07
10. “Visible Shallow Self” 2:27
11. “Sea of Tranquillity” 13:43

Back From the Dead: Obituary

Rating: 85%

Back_from_the_Dead.jpgSo, if I died and returned as a zombie, demon or even an angel, the first thing I would do is crank it up to Obituary. This is a great blend of Death Metal being fused with some influences of Groove Metal and Hardcore music. This album also marks the downfall of Obituary. This 1997 release is much better than their previous “World Demise.”

Musically, this album is pretty good. There’s a good collection of riffs, some leads, and heavy drumming.  John Tardy’s vocals sound just as good on this album. I noticed that the Frank Watkins bass is a bit more forward among the sound. Donald Tardy’s drumming is still among the progressive side of experimenting.

The song structures are a bit sloppy, but that is what makes this album good. This album opens with the heavy hitter “Threatening Skies.” This song begins with a great heavy fast riff and it doesn’t stop there either. The guitars of both Allen West and Trevor Peres never quit. The leads and fill ins are decent, although, like some of the previous material, it role of the lead guitar is a bit absence. As the album progresses, some of the song structures feature several wired rests. “Back from the Dead” is one of those examples. The main structure is slow and heavy, but then there are a few areas of a few seconds rest.

There are a lot of good songs on here and yes, there are a few fillers. But all and all, this is still a decent Obituary album. It does have some good melodies that are brutal, heavy, and aggressive. Most of the music is on the faster side, with few on the slower side.

Track listing:

1. “Threatening Skies” 2:19
2. “By the Light” 2:55
3. “Inverted” 2:53
4. “Platonic Disease” 4:06
5. “Download” 2:45
6. “Rewind” 4:03
7. “Feed on the Weak” 4:15
8. “Lockdown” 4:11
9. “Pressure Point” 2:25
10. “Back from the Dead” 5:12
11. “Bullituary (Remix)” (featuring DJ’s Diablo D and Skinner T)  3:43

World Demise: Obituary

Rating: 80%

Worlddemise.jpgIn 1994, Obituary released “World Demise.” This album contains the protest song to man made pollution “Don’t Care.” Musically, this album is dark, heavy, and faster than their previous works. A little less energetic, this album still has the brutal and aggression that Obituary is known for.

The music for the most part still have that same structure as their previous albums. The key to the heaviness is the low D tunning with the toned down sound on the guitars. You have the growls and evilness in the vocals of John Hardy, kick ass guitar work and sound by Allen West and Trevor Peres. Allen West’s solos still scream loudly. Their plenty of slower heavy riffs while several of the songs contain much faster riffs. The tempos by Donald Tardy on drums are aggressive and powerful. Frank Watkins throws out several thunderous bass lines.

Track listing:

1. “Don’t Care” 3:08
2. “World Demise” 3:43
3. “Burned In” 3:32
4. “Redefine” 4:39
5. “Paralyzing” 4:57
6. “Lost” 3:59
7. “Solid State” 4:38
8. “Splattered” 4:15
9. “Final Thoughts” 4:08
10. “Boiling Point” 3:09
11. “Set in Stone” 4:50
12. “Kill for Me” 5:59

Bonus:

13. “Killing Victims Found” 5:05
14. “Infected [Live]” 5:00
15. “Godly Beings [Live]” 2:01
16. “Body Bag [Live]” 5:59

Frozen In Time: Obituary

Rating: 85%

frozenintimeAfter a several year hiatus, Obituary came back with their 2005 release “Frozen In Time.” This album to me was a good comeback for the Death Metal legends I have always loved the sound of the band. Vocally, John Hardy still retains that classic growl and grit that he is known for. The guitars of both Allen West and Trevor Peres are deep and heavy as they. The solos and leads still scream. Bassist Frank Watkins is heard throughout the album. Aside from the classic structure of the guitars and vocals, Donald Tardy’s drumming is more straight forward. His style is a bit different in his approach. The song “Slow Death” for example, Donald’s drumming is noticeably different. His technique is more progressive in nature.

The songs seem to be faster than some of their previous albums as if they are being influenced by Speed Metal and Thrash Metal. The songs structures seem to be more music rather than vocals. The album opens with “Redneck Stomp” which is an instrumental. Other songs like “Slow Death” seem to have a more epic introduction that lasts for a minute, minute and a half. Well then the vocals come in for one verse and chorus line and that’s it. The songs are short and to the point.

Musically, the instrumentation is great. Everyone seems to have a great overall sound. This album is chalk full of great riffs, screaming fills and leads. While the sound is overall polished, there is a certain element of grit and crunch with the overall sound. The rawness is more settled. Either way, this is still a good come back album, even though, it comes clocking in at 34 minutes.

Track listing:

  1. “Redneck Stomp” 3:32
  2. “On the Floor” 3:10
  3. “Insane” 3:25
  4. “Blindsided” 2:56
  5. “Back Inside” 2:42
  6. “Mindset” 3:54
  7. “Stand Alone” 3:44
  8. “Slow Death” 3:03
  9. “Denied” 3:37
  10. “Lockjaw” 4:13

The End Complete: Obituary

Rating: 85%

722.jpgIn 1992, Obituary saw the return of Allen West on lead guitar. “The End Complete” begins with a deep toned guitar chord, followed by drums and a growl. Afterwards it’s followed by the shriek of Allen West’s lead. “The End Complete” offers up more or less the same basic music structure from the previous two releases, “Cause of Death” and “Slowly We Rot.” It’s one of those things, that if it isn’t broken, why fix it?

You still have the roars, growls, and screams of vocalist John Tardy. With Allen West back in the line up, you do loose the more precise leads as compared to  James Murphy. Allen West does shred and puts out a lot of decent leads and solos. The riffs by Trevor Peres are based more or less off of the previous material. Frank Watkins has plenty to offer with his bass guitar. Keeping up with the drum kit and producing some off balanced and faster tempos is Donald Tardy.

Musically, this album is deep, heavy, and dark. You wouldn’t expect any less from obituary. There’s lots of crunchy, gritty, and heavy riffs to each of the songs. Some are faster than others. in fact, I think the melody is a lot faster than their previous two albums.  There is a bit more atmosphere in the music itself and Obituary is slowly experimenting with different elements. But it’s not a drastic change. The overall sound is more mature. This kind of sets the pace for the future of the band.

Track listing:

1. “I’m in Pain” 4:01
2. “Back to One”  3:42
3. “Dead Silence”  3:21
4. “In the End of Life” 3:41
5. “Sickness” 4:06
6. “Corrosive”  4:11
7. “Killing Time”  3:59
8. “The End Complete” 4:03
9. “Rotting Ways” 5:13