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I was a fan, back in those days. Bought their stuff, went to their gigs, got the stuff autographed. You get the picture. Not a huge fan though. Obituary were one of the death metal bands I was really into but not in my top 10 of favourite acts. Music-wise Obituary weren’t even close to Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Pestilence and such bands in ’89-’90.
But John Tardy was unique! Eyes wide open when I first heard ‘Slowly We Rot’. Damn this boy was sick! That guitar tone, so dirty. Evil leads and solo’s making Kerry King sound like a choirboy. The whole concept of ‘Slowly We Rot’ overwhelmed me.
To be honest it was mostly the impact this album made back in ’89 which did and still does the trick. A unique sound and new level of dirtiness yet totally incomparable to Autopsy and such.
Take the riffing of Celtic Frost, let Scott Burns have a go at smudging the sound, thrust it through a meat grinder with a big load of Possessed madness and there your have Obituary’s music. Including the meat grinder that it. Give a youngster a microphone tell him to imagine he’s being eaten alive while eating a fellow man himself simultaneously and John Tardy even becomes more than the icing on the cake but almost the cake itself.
12 songs in 35 minutes, Unequalled by the band themselves to this day. Relentless!