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Cause of Death (Reissue) Original recording remastered

5.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Nov. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: ROADRUNNER UK
  • ASIN: B000000H40
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,524 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

OBITUARY

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I am 42 years old and please do not read this as in any way apologetic. If I am honest I am in the midst of a full blown mid-life "crisis". Let me tell you a story, if you have the time, about why this fantastic album is, for me, not just the best heavy metal album ever made but the best album EVER. When I was a youth me n the lads were complete metal heads. Life got in the way of my metal purity as it tends to do. I look back with pride at my metal roots. We were total metal. I was into everything from Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Blue Oyster Cult(Imaginos is a superb album), Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac (yes I like girls and lots of girls) to Napalm Death(remember I did not have the benefit of metal hindsight, I was into this when it happened) and Carcass(Symphonies of Sickness for Gods sake, why is Mr Bill Steer not invited onto Big Brother or Get Me Out Of Here???) with Metallica (Ride the Lightning was the first album I bought with my own money and it changed my life), Anthrax (first gig I went to was on their awesome Among the Living tour) Slayer and Megadeth as important to me as Iron Maiden and Motorhead and the rest. I have seen Hawkwind 14 times to date and consider them to be my favourite band.

However.

The best gig I have ever been to was in 1990 to Obituary on the tour for this album. I have seen many bands of many different styles. Festivals, raves (I absolutely love the Prodigy and Banco de Gaia and again make no apologies) and have tried wholeheartedly to expand my musical experience. But this album and the gig at Bradfords Queens Hall in 1990 was and is the best ever. Ever. EVER. The sheer heaviness. The fun. The quality of the moment. The unrelenting brutality and quality of the metal musicianship.
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Format: Audio CD
Along with Morbid Angel's classic 'Blessed Are The Sick', this rates as the best death metal albums to come out of the infamous Morrisound studios in Florida. Scott Burns' production values are all over this sick beast, from the sludgy guitar sound to the crisp drums, impeccable mix and unearthly vocals, this album sits as an out and out metal classic, not just a death metal one.
Obituary actually have very few ultra-fast riffs, most of them plod along at a reasonably pedestrian pace. What makes them so outstanding is the discordancy. Only Morbid Angel manage to make riffs that sound so unsettling. Obituary utilise tempo changes to full effect - the slow, sludgy riffs often lull you into a false sense of security before bouncing into a faster part. Also, the double bass drum is used to full effect, often heralding the arrival of a 'groovy' part of the song.
Yes, you heard right, Obituary have managed to inject an element of groove intoa death metal album. This is no mean feat when you consider that the raison d'etre of most death metal bands in the early nineties was apparently the complete elimination of all melody, structure and tempo.
The three opening cuts (no pun intended) here 'Infected', 'Bodybag' and the equally charmingly monickered 'Chopped In Half' are probably the best on show. Both contain oodles of menace, with the solos of death metal supremo James Murphy in particular standing out. Murphy was in a whole host of bands in the early to mid-nineties, and his studied, harmonic approach to soloing made almost all the albums he played on stand out from the crowd.
Roadrunner re-released this in 2000, and the benefits of a remaster are plain to see - its much louder and beefier sounding. Amazingly, the remaster makes John Tardy's vocals sound even more insane.
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Format: Audio CD
When you think death metal, you think growling. You think down tuned, yet precisily played guitars, just about audiable bass, and the ever present click and hum of kick/bass drums. Obituary's second album had all of this, and a good 10 years before the rebirth of death metal shoved all of the above into your face and said try this on for size.

Cause of Death made every magazine frenzied with anticipation. Phil Alexander himself says in the liner notes that he couldn't wait to hear the Obies second offering, as their first, Slowly we Rot, was an eye opener in the realms of extreme metal.

Between 1990 and 93 I don't really remember listening to much other than Entombed's Clandestine, Carcass' Necroticism, Morbid Angel's Covenant and Obies Cause of Death. I know I did, but the other stuff just kind of fades intothe back ground when I think back to my early teens.

It was right up there, for me, in the creme de la creme of death metal releases. And it still is.

Obituary never played "fast" metal, unlike Carcass or Sepultura, they spent their time scraping your ears with chugging mid paced riffs, that occasionally picked up the tempo, but still retained that essential heaviness. Opener 'Infected' starts with some weird sound effects, then lets you have it both barrels with John Tardy's legendary vocal assault. The man has the most barbaric voice the death metal world has ever heard. Its not the deepest, Like the Lord Worms, or Karl Sanders of this world, but it is the most angry, throaty, nasty thing to come out of a mans mouth without contracting Ebola first.
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