Wednesday, 4 July 2012

OBITUARY - World Demise (1994)

01  Don't Care
02  World Demise
03  Burned In
04  Redefine
05  Paralyzing
06  Lost
07  Solid State
08  Splattered
09  Final Thoughts
10  Boiling Point
11  Set In Stone
12  Kill For Me
13  Killing Victims Found (Japanese Bonus)

'World Demise' is the fourth album by American death metal band Obituary. It was released on September 6th 1994 via Roadrunner Records. A single and promotional video for the song "Don't Care" was also released but only in the USA.

As good an album as `The End Complete' was it just couldn't match up to `Cause Of Death', and Obituary seemed to have realised that they are never going to better what they have already achieved, with 4th album `World Demise' at last showing signs of the band progressing. It's still 95% Obituary of old, with the bands classic sound intact and heavy as ever, but uniquely amongst their discography it shows them at least trying to do something different, with the inclusion of a number of samples - notably the shuddering earthquakes and propeller effects in the title track and the tribal rhythms of "Kill For Me" - while the album artwork sees the band ditching the old, sinister heavy metal imagery for something based in reality.

On the one hand, World Demise creatively channels the underlying themes of their classics Slowly We Rot and Cause of Death into an urban bricklaying force, with a near excess of manly swagger. We had already been inundated with the hilarious "Don't Care" from the EP of the same name earlier in the year, but here it sits atop its proper throne of primal, driving grooves and crude but effective chorus. John Tardy sounds quite good here, as he does on the concrete crushing title track, another of the clear favorites here for the relationship of the descending chugs and resonant growling; and a great pure old school, creepy death bridge. Other pieces of note include the almost hypnotic sway of "Lost", the warlike percussion of "Redefine", and of course "Final Thoughts", with the hugest and most menacing groove on the entire album. Most of these do suffer from a faint reek of useless repetition, and in most cases :30 seconds could have been snipped to greater effect.

On the other hand, I really would have liked to hear some faster material on this album. It's all too rare that the band will surge into one of their morbid and wild, frenetic scenarios, like the bridge to "Solid State" and its winding, deceptively sloppy lead sequence. There are some decent old school rhythms here that hearken back to the heyday of Xecutioner and Death ("Set in Stone", etc), but not enough.

Death Metal can be a very restrictive genre to work within. A lot of fans expect things to be exactly right, with little room for deviation. Obituary tried something a little different here. Time hasn't been terribly kind to this album. The first three are fondly remembered by most fans, but not this for some reason. It is really a continuation of 'The End Complete'. Perhaps it is because Death Metal had progressed and caught up with where Obituary had been four years earlier.

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