AlbumsNovember 29, 20118,980 views

Obituary Xecutioner's Return


01. Face Your God 02. Lasting Presence 03. Evil Ways 04. Drop Dead 05. Bloodshot 06. Seal Your Fate 07. Feel The Pain 08. Contrast The Dead 09. Second Chance 10. Lies 11. In Your Head
2007 Candlelight Records
Our score 8

9/20/2007

Florida's slow-death legends Obituary are among the handful of true-to-the-bone lifers who, despite helping to spawn the modern metal and hardcore movements of the Nineties, continue to be underdogs in the truest form. This at least partially explains why their new album Xecutioner's Return is as authentic and loaded with up-tempo Celtic Frost riffs as were classics from the band's back catolog, Slowly We Rot and Cause of Death. While the stardom that critics had initially predicted would arrive to Obituary seems to have gotten stuck in traffic along the way, the band continues to defeat career obstacles with a success rate that most metal and hardcore bands can only write about. While the making of Xecutioner's Return saw some unexpected twists that impacted its outcome in a variety of ways, it ended up being an album that stands boldly alongside the rest of Obituary's classics and near-classics. Frustrated with their longtime label Roadrunner Records' lack of support for one of the bands that gave the label its name, not to mention some of the label's best-selling records prior to its foray into radio rock and nu-metal, Obituary could have easily thrown in the towel after their final album for Roadrunner, the murky and harsh beast of an album that was 2005's Frozen In Time. It certainly would have capped off an impressive and hugely influential career. Instead, Obituary signed with a rejuvenated Candlelight Records (Dismember, Opeth, Wolverine, Vader, Destruction, Starkweather) and are already benefiting from a metal label that comprehends the responsibility of signing a legendary U.S. old-school death act, the only artist of that stature on the label. What this new relationship has produced is the band's most focused and single-minded record since The End Complete, and possibly even Cause of Death. It is the first time since the latter was released 17 years ago that founding lead guitarist Allen West was absent from the songwriting process, as his ongoing battle with alcoholism has reportedly landed him in prison until well into 2008. Until future notice, his last contribution to Obituary will have been his performance on their awesome 2006 live DVD, Frozen Alive. A respected and highly influential lead guitarist whose tone and style on albums like Slowly We Rot, The End Complete, and the classics he created with Six Feet Under, Haunted and Warpath has been often imitated since, both in metal by virtual Allen West tribute band Torture Killer and in hardcore by notables Hatebreed, All Out War, 100 Demons, and Death Threat, West's absence from Xecutioner's Return has resulted in the album being more straightforward and less varied than many were expecting from this aging battalion. While nonetheless a cornerstone of Obituary's history and hopefully future, the troubled West and his absence seems to have lit a fire under the band that otherwise may not have been lit, as Xecutioner's Return succeeds in sounding raw, invigorated, and unapologetic. Much like in 1990 when Obituary recruited a young guitar prodigy named James Murphy to lay solos down on the Cause of Death album already completely written by Trevor Peres and Donald Tardy, this time it is the band's new lead guitarist, journeyman Ralph Santolla (ex-Death, Iced Earth, Deicide), who has laid down a sophisticated if slightly excessive set of solos that serve to enhance the band's unrefined and hardened trademark approach. Bottom Line: Since Obituary's political video for "Don't Care" from 1994's World Demise defined a generation and saw them experiment with hardcore influences like never before, the band's insistence to stick to a formula since then has solidified their cult status at the expense of popularity. Despite Obituary's age and the dismal state of CD sales, Xecutioner's Return may land in more players and iPods than their previous two. It also may very well be the band's most valiant stab at some much-deserved success in over ten years.

27 comments

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facedownninja_ 9/20/2007 3:04:00 PM

first


shredtacular_ 9/20/2007 3:18:05 PM

nice review, i have no clue what this album is like, but hell i know the history of obituary


kingben_ 9/20/2007 3:59:57 PM

ummm. way to post a history of obituary, but wasn't there supposed to be a review in here somewhere.


Mike_ 9/20/2007 4:00:50 PM

Yeah, I dont have the attention span to read a 6 paragraph "review"...f*ck.


anonymous 9/20/2007 5:02:18 PM

pretty wickety-wack album title


panzram_ 9/20/2007 5:49:17 PM

A respected and highly influential lead guitarist whose tone and style on albums like Slowly We Rot, The End Complete, and the classics he created with Six Feet Under, Haunted and Warpath has been often imitated since, both in metal by virtual Allen West tribute band Torture Killer and in hardcore by notables Hatebreed, All Out War, 100 Demons, and Death Threat, West's absence from Xecutioner's Return has resulted in the album being more straightforward and less varied than many were expecting f


phil_ 9/20/2007 5:49:26 PM

this is an 11/10 f*ckin bad review


torpor_ 9/20/2007 6:25:11 PM

what is it with these f*cking lambgoat reviews that NEVER mention the music on the album? you spent most of the time discussing allen west and the band's history...how will a new fan have any clue of what he's gonna get himself into? great band, good CD, shitty review


anonymous 9/20/2007 6:26:05 PM

William Faulkner returns from the grave to write zombie reviews of metal albums. Gluck, your new target: 1 review, 1 sentence, 1000 words....and no commas! BWAHHAHAHHAHAHAH!


swampthang_ 9/20/2007 6:48:27 PM

very boring and bland


TheWodo_ 9/20/2007 7:13:08 PM

"William Faulkner returns from the grave..." Goddamn, that was well played.


Peenus_ 9/20/2007 8:44:12 PM

why does this band even f*cking bother writing new songs. why not just release the same album over and over again with different cover art. nobody who listens to this band would even notice or care. This band sucks a fat c-ck and don't really deserve any of the praise or success they have garnered over the years. Shit bands like Obituary can apparently continue living, recording, touring, etc. off of shitty f*cking music and they don't even seem to realize how much better most bands are than the


Karl J_ 9/20/2007 9:12:49 PM

Good review of a great CD. No idea what most of the rest of these people are talking about. But who cares... their loss, really. No attention span to read 6 paragraphs? God help us...


bigego_ 9/20/2007 9:25:17 PM

RUN ON f*ckING SENTENCES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


m_ 9/21/2007 12:11:23 AM

this band is consistently good. who cares if they don't change their formula?? i happen to find their formula rather tasty.


arty_mcfarty_ 9/21/2007 6:18:16 AM

maybe webmaster lost his eyes or went comatose because i don't understand how he could read this filth and in good conscience put it on his website.........it is the most awful, poorly written garbage i have seen since the LAST gluck review..........the william faulkner joke was pretty funny though


anonymous 9/21/2007 10:47:38 AM

yeah william faulkner was good, but it reminds me alot of Hubert Selby too. but at least his run on sentences were awesome like gang beats and drug abuse


anonymous 9/21/2007 10:49:49 AM

i meant it was awesome subject matter..unlike reading this history book of obituary


heffe_ 9/21/2007 11:00:40 AM

nice review, ritter gluck. hoffmann would be proud.


anonymous 9/21/2007 12:26:57 PM

f*cking unreadable.


Illiteracy_ 9/21/2007 12:38:07 PM

I have invaded the USA!!!


Hox_ 9/21/2007 1:32:42 PM

Is this a review or a history lesson?!?! There is zero substance to the nature of this actual CD in the entire essay. Webby... You gotta get on these 'reviewers' and tell them to cut the elitist bullshit and talk about the actual songs on the CDs being reviewed.


wtf is going on_ 9/22/2007 4:51:31 AM

why even bother having reviews on this site anymore? its all fanboy c-mbags jerking off for 4 paragraphs about the band's history and past discography, obscure namedrop/stupid stuck mojo facts and about 2 sentences describing what the MOTHER f*ckING MUSIC sounds like.


redhanded_ 9/24/2007 7:01:36 PM

i read that first line and thought it said "Obituary are among the handful of true-to-the-boner lifers".


Gluck is a fucking pussy_ 9/25/2007 11:33:31 AM

I'll never read any of your reviews. Good or bad. I'll just post to say you're a f*cking pssy with shitty music taste. f*ck Gluck.


Michael Fuck_ 9/25/2007 1:58:29 PM

i usually skip glucks reviews and just read the bottom line. but on this review that sucked as well. gluck is a gay


mayor_ 10/5/2007 12:54:26 PM

this guy can't review bands. he should be writing shitty super biased articles about these bands. because that's all he does here, talk about old records ex members, record labels. its like f*ck off gluck.....write about the f*cking songs and the music. there's no reason your goddamn review needs to be this long.