OBITUARY: Slow and Savagely Delicious – Why Years Between Albums Make Their Music More Metal

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Obituary, the Florida death metal titans, have carved their name in blood and bone with their brutal riffs and guttural vocals. But unlike some bands who churn out albums like clockwork, Obituary takes their time. Their latest offering, “Dying of Everything,” arrived four years after its predecessor, and fans are already chomping at the bit for more. So, what’s the secret behind their slow and steady approach?

According to frontman John Tardy recent interview with Sense Music Media, it all boils down to quality over quantity. He describes their songwriting process as a slow simmer, not a frantic boil. They kick around ideas, let them marinate, and come back with fresh ears, constantly refining and adding “cool stuff.” Tardy likens it to putting a song on the shelf for a while, only to rediscover it later with a renewed perspective.

“It’s cool when you have the time to have some songs and mess with them for a while and put them off the shelf. It’s great to get started, put some stuff together and then you don’t listen to it for a month and a half or something. And then you come back to it and then stuff kind of comes to your mind fresh.”

This meticulous approach is a far cry from the pressure-cooker environment some bands face. Rushing a song, Tardy argues, leads to regret and missed opportunities. The pandemic, with its unexpected downtime, ironically proved to be a blessing in disguise, offering Obituary the luxury of time to let their music truly breathe.

“When you have a lot of time, like we did during the pandemic, it really gave us time to let the songs kind of grow, feel them out and be able to add some cool stuff here and there to them. There’s nothing worse than being rushed with a song. And even if it’s a cool idea, get it down, write it, record it, because you listen to it and a year later, you’re, like, ‘Damn, I wish I would have done this. I wish I could have done that.’ And the longer you let yourself let those songs grow and you can sit and mess with them, the less of that you have. You’ll always get that no matter what, but the less of it that you do have, you give yourself that time.”

But it’s not just about creative freedom. Obituary, Tardy points out, isn’t in the album-a-year game. They’ve always marched to their own funeral march, taking breaks between releases to tour extensively and ensure each album gets the attention it deserves.

“We’ve just never been the band to put out albums every year, every other year, other than I think “Slowly We Rot” and “Cause Of Death” were pretty close,” Tardy added. “But other than that, we’re okay to sit back. And now with the touring, we just find that it really takes us three or four years just to cover all parts of the globe and get everything done with that album. And people don’t buy the albums that much anymore anyway, so you’ve really kind of gotta get your money out of ’em.

Now, excuse me while I go crank up “Dying Of Everything” on repeat. This slow-cooked death metal feast is just getting started.

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