Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

April 14, 2010

Obituary ~ Dead (live)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: death metal, live, black metal, metal
Label: Roadrunner
Year: 1998
Home: Florida

Members: John Tardy ~ vocals
Donald Tardy ~ drums
Trevor Peres ~ rhythm guitar
Frank Watkins ~ bass
Allen West ~ lead guitar

For me, live albums are about showing a different side to a band, with the hope that they sound different on stage than in the studio & maybe even better. The stage is where a band gets to reinterpret their own music. The Doors & the Grateful Dead are prime examples of this as they are both almost completely different bands onstage. Then there's other bands that don't sound better & shouldn't release live albums & some singers can't sing well without the assistance of a computer. The stage theoretically allows the true sound of a band to shine without all the overdubs & studio gimmickry. Some bands have extra musicians hidden behind stacked amps to not worry about this, while the more creative, such as Led Zeppelin, rework the music to suite the venue with no camouflage. I'm going to take a leap & say that Florida death metal pioneers Obituary sound so much like a different band that this live album rates far superior above any of their studio releases I've heard. The songs seem to breathe better here than in the setting of over-production. Also, their individuality shines better on stage where the loose setting allows an reckless energy to come through. Obituary brought death metal to new mature highs, continuing the banner flung up by Death & Napalm Death & carried on by Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation & more. I've always felt too many of the aforementioned death bands aimed for sheer speed exercises in dexterity & forgot that metal forefathers Black Sabbath was considered heavy not for speed but for some often rather slow tempos & lots of variation in emotional texture. Speed walks the line between darkness & just plain speed. Obituary has the ability to bring everything together from the darkest dirge to the fastest fingers with even some great cover art thrown in. They paid attention to their teachers. Dead is a great introduction to the band. These are your teachers, death metalheads. Pay attention, class, if you want to play death metal & not have a pre-mature obituary written to your musical career.

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