Concert Review: Obituary, The Studio, 22 January 2020

Obituary was like a 15-course meal of decomposing meat, a pudding of sludgy shit, along side a nice glass of fresh blood. And the packed out crowd at The Studio drank it up.

I’d be lying if I told you I’ve always been a massive fan of Obituary, but they’re undeniably one of the death metal greats. They’re touring their 1990 classic Causes of Death album, along with other well-loved songs from their discography.

Opening up the evening, Wormrot, a three-piece grindcore band from Singapore. By the reaction of the audience, half of the crowd might have been there just to see them. Wormrot is the band our parents warned us about. This trio is fucking savage. For most of their set I didn’t even know what was going on, but rather just tried to take it all in. I’m not even going to try to decipher the set. It was what it was, and it was ultra-violent.

Obituary hit The Studio stage. They open their set with Redneck Stomp, a song that is almost onomatopoeic. It sounds like a bunch of rednecks stomping around, a drinking song if I’ve ever heard one. Their guitars sounding like chainsaws, particularly disgusting and sludgy.

John Tardy’s vocal was perfect, just like the albums, even their early albums. His voice is really the biggest draw here. He sounds like how I imagine Jason from the Friday the 13TH films had be been able to speak. The only other vocalist I can think of that sounds remotely similar is Chuck Schuldiner of Death (RIP Chuck).

Obituary sound menacing, evil even. But in that same way that John Carpenter’s Halloween is menacing. It’s a synthetic kind of scary but as soon as I hear it I’m pulled into a world of ghouls, rotting flesh, and death. Tipper Gore would have had a field day with these boys. The whole show I was sporting a shit-eating grin. Their riffs are so groovy I couldn’t help but to dance along. Tardy’s hair is in more places on the stage than it isn’t.

While its important to note that they did sound tight as hell, I’d like think that their early shows weren’t too different to what we saw tonight. Five dudes standing round having a great time, big breaks in between songs while they chug on beers and talk shit between themselves. Not unprofessional, just not there for any other reason than to have a blast and play some heavy riffs with each other.

Seeing Obituary was like a 15-course meal of decomposing meat, a pudding of sludgy shit, along side a nice glass of fresh blood. Last night was a special night. Live debuts by two incredible bands that a lot of people had waited a lot of time to see. Honestly, I was glad to be there for it. Before Obituary started, a was chatting to a guy who had waited thirty odd years to see them play, he said after they play, you will be a convert, he was dead right.

~Benjamin Morley

All photos by Benjamin Morley