Obituary - Cause Of Death
Roadrunner Records
Death Metal
9 songs (41'25)
Release year: 1990
Obituary, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Jack
Archive review
Obituary’s second album is Cause Of Death… Very funny, isn’t it ? First of all, this is the best metal front cover I have ever seen. This is part one of fantastic artist Michael Whelan's work based on Lovecraft’s nightmares (part two has been used for Demolition Hammer’s Epidemic Of Violence). I had a poster in my bedroom of this album about ten years ago, and my cousin who was aged seven at the time did not dare stay alone in my bedroom because the eye was watching him ! Pretty scary, huh ? I think the album cover really shows what the music on this album is all about.

This is another monumental death metal album from the gloriest time of death metal, the early 1990's. Although the album is filled with fast tempos, what remains after some listens is the incredible heaviness of the music which is now reknown as Obituary's finest trademark. The music is still unceasingly heavy and vicious, obscure and morbid, complex and brutal, including various moods with such a great eerie feeling mainly due to the sound effects at the beginning and at the end of their songs. The band came up with riffs that didn’t have to be fast to be heavy. They were just capable of executing their musical ideas with an exact precision. The key to their success being the mix of catchy metal riffs and crunchy multi-tempo changes.

James Murphy plays a leading role on this album. Just after leaving Death, the guy lent his amazing leadwork to the Obies. His smooth soloing axe-work on this album is just phenomenal and contrasts with the monolithic mid tempo style of rhythm guitarist Trevor Peres, adding to the overall mood of the music. John Tardy’s utterly inhuman and undecipherable vocals define the Obituary sound forever and truly stand apart from the thousands of other death metal screamers. His lacerating vocals are primarily employed as another musical instrument. They are mostly random vocal sounds and shrieks that intensify the eerie feel of the music (my wife asked me once what they were doing to this guy to make him scream like this).

This album is a hell of an experience and truly stands apart with a few others from the thousands of other death metal albums. When the album comes to his end, you really feel like you’re the guys trapped in the spider’s web as featured on the artcover. Cause of Death remains Obituary's finest work and a pure moment of sickness. I used to listen to this album in total darkness and I can still feel the shivers running down my spine.

Killing Songs :
it's a 100 / 100... so they're all killing ones
Jack quoted 100 / 100
Other albums by Obituary that we have reviewed:
Obituary - Inked in Blood reviewed by Jared and quoted 79 / 100
Obituary - Slowly We Rot reviewed by Charles and quoted CLASSIC
Obituary - The End Complete reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Obituary - Darkest Day reviewed by James and quoted 85 / 100
Obituary - Left To Die reviewed by James and quoted no quote
To see all 8 reviews click here
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