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Review: Obituary – Xecutioner’s Return (2007)

Obituary, the legendary Floridian death metallers that defied the standard death metal style by using the “simpler is better” approach, with songs made up of basic, groovy riffs that were heavier than gravity. With excellent albums on their resume including Slowly We Rot, Cause of Death, and 2005’s comeback album Frozen in Time, Obituary were leaders and now have heralded their return to the forefront of the extreme. Obituary are back with their follow up to Frozen in Time, entitled Xecutioner’s Return (which, as old time fans know, is an ode to their original name). The question with this album just beginning to be purchased by folks, is will the legend live up to the hype on this new album?

Having gotten into Obituary‘s work through their earlier discography, I can say that I have been a fan of theirs for many years. The band plays a style that is almost akin to doom metal as opposed to the traditional thrash influenced death of the 80’s that was popularized by Death, Possessed and Morbid Angel (though they inevitably did have influences from these bands too). Obituary has always been a fun band that is incredibly enjoyable live. When Frozen in Time was released after their comeback tour in 2005, I was hoping for the best, and was rewarded for my loyalty. I thought Frozen in Time was a fantastic return, so when Xecutioner’s Return debuted, perhaps my guard was down as I was expecting another great record, unfortunately, the album isn’t exactly pallatable, let alone kosher.

The first thing I notice when putting this album on is that the production is quite muddy in comparison to Frozen in Time, which isn’t entirely bad, but when you have been exposed to the crisp riffing that was their last album, you may feel a bit spoiled. Beyond that, I found from the get go that the songwriting was way too simplistic, even by Obituary‘s catchy standards. Face Your God has the same riff for the entire song, boring vocal lines, and a solo that is quite out of place. Unfortunately, much of the album continues to lurch forth with a similar pace. It is hard to pick out songs that really are wretched, because all of the songs are listenable…for about a minute, after that though, it becomes cumbersome and intrusive to my time.

After listening to Xecutioner’s Return, it makes me almost want to see Hate Eternal live, nonstop, for 6 hours straight. Okay, I exaggerate, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Realistically, Xecutioner’s Return isn’t all that bad, but this is Obituary, and this lackluster songwriting must go. Tardy brothers and gang, please, bless us with a monumental tour to make up for this, and then write an album worth Obituary’s uber cool logo. For new fans, please check out Frozen in Time or Slowly We Rot (as these will probably be the most available in the stores) for a true Obituary experience.


Stand Out Tracks: Drop Dead
Similar Bands: Possessed, Death, Celtic Frost, Candlemass
1. Face Your God 02:56
2. Lasting Presence 02:12
3. Evil Ways 02:57
4. Drop Dead 03:35
5. Bloodshot 03:25
6. Seal Your Fate 02:30
7. Feel The Pain 04:31
8. Contrast The Dead 07:01
9. Second Chance 03:28
10. Lies 03:32
11. In Your Head 04:31

John Tardy – Vocals
Trevor Peres – Guitars
Ralph Santolla – Guitars
Frank Watkins – Bass
Donald Tardy – Drums

Candlelight Records

WarGlory’s Top 10 of 2007 (so far)


1. Circus Maximus - Isolate

2. Abigor - Fractal Possession

3. 3 Inches of Blood - Fire Up the Blades

4. Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying

5. Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

6. Threshold - Dead Reckoning

7. As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us

8. Behemoth - The Apostasy

9. Megadeth - United Abominations

10. Agent Steel - Alienigma


1. Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon

2. Aria - Armageddon

3. Kruger - Redemption Through Loooseness

4. Machine Head - The Blackening







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