In the run-up to a slew of UK dates (with the equally mighty Exodus, Prong and King Parrot), Obituary are about to drop a two-song single backed by a bunch of live recordings. The live material varies from more recent – comparatively speaking – fare such as “Redneck Stomp” to dyed-in-the-wool classics such as “Slowly We Rot”, “Chopped in Half” and “Don’t Care”.
Both studio tracks are brand new – “Loathe” and “Ten Thousand Ways To Die”. “Loathe” is as slow and heavy a song as Obituary have ever created. The simple riff repeated throughout is almost hypnotic and only broken away from a couple of times, and even then only for a few bars. Given its running time of over six minutes, I’d expect this to remain one to listen to at home rather than a live favourite.
The titular “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” is a bit more of a belter. Still ridonkulously heavy, it’s got a bit more of an up-tempo collection of riffage and a greater variety within than “Loathe”. Utilising the trademark overlapping vocals we’ve heard before from Obituary, this is a modern classic. “Classic” in that it sounds like Obituary, “modern” in that there’s definitely something new in there – this isn’t just the same old stuff. A definite headbanger. Banging slowly, but banging for sure.
The dozen live tracks are well recorded though with my crappy headphones there was definitely just a hint of clipping when the volume was cranked. It’s a wonderful selection, though. All the songs were recorded on the 2015 Inked in Blood tour and they’ve obviously cherry-picked the best recordings from various dates. This could have been released as a live album and I’d have no complaints.