Okay, first off I want to say for the record I am a fan of Obituary
and have been for over 15 years. I have heard most of their albums and I can confidently qualify myself as a fan who knows/understands Obituary
's music. I have seen all the changes in line ups (including the departure of F.Watkins and R.Santolla) so I'm aware there is another album after this one. That
said; I believe that Obituary
hit their peak musically on this album. Let's elaborate for a second.
This album has all the elements of a great Obituary
album. Heavy guitars-check, fast drums-check, the voice of John Tardy-check, and now ridiculously amazing guitar solo's-check. The songs are heavy fast and to the point. If you compare song by song every other album, this album features the best vocals, drums, and guitar work ever. Sure James Murphy
proved to be a power house on Cause of Death
(highly regarded album) but I believe Santolla proved that he can hold his own and still sound heavy. A|symmetryfter A|symmetry.West's return to Obituary
the guitar solo was predominantly played by West and you could almost figure what it would sound like since he has a very distinctive yet limited lead presence. To me all his solo's sounded very alike...not bad..but very similar. Enter Ralph Santolla
... some point it seems that the Tardy boys wanted a bit more guitar technicality and flavor and Santolla who plays 2-4 solo's on every track makes the album a lot more interesting. Even Trevor Peres seems to have been bitten by the solo bug and plays some cool solo's on 3-4 songs.
Overall this is a solid album and probably one of my favorite albums of all times. I think it proves that you can stick to a formula and be successful and make adjustments every now and then and make it fresh every time (think Slayer
with Gary Holt). I recommend this album to newer Obituary
fans, its heavy, but not as dark as previous efforts, yet still death metal enough for the long time fans.