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A step above Frozen in Time - 89%

MorbidAtheist666, June 10th, 2008

This is Obituary’s latest offering, Xecutioner’s Return. I am extremely impressed by this record. This is definitely a step above Frozen in Time. Don’t get me wrong; Frozen in Time is a very awesome record and a triumphant return for Obituary. Xecutioner’s Return just happens to be better. Everything about this album is awesome. The minute I slipped this disc into my car’s stereo, I felt an adrenaline rush. I knew this album was worth the money. I did get my money’s worth.

This was a very well put together record. The production is above average, but to me it is a bit overdone. I really can’t put my finger on why it sounds a bit overdone. So it is not really a perfect album, in my opinion. All instrumentation and vocalization sound crystal clear except for the bass. That’s fairly common with some death metal bands. I do know for a fact that what Frank Watkins recorded on here has to be good.

I love the fact that the first three songs are under 3 minutes. Three songs under 3 minutes in a row! Face Your God is a nice fast tune. Lasting Presence is another nice fast track. They both feature awesome drumming, guitar work and vocals. Obituary is a bit known for their sludgey and kind of slow songs. They are very capable of pulling off fast tunes though. It is evident throughout the whole entire album. The song Contrast the Dead is the slowest and longest one, but it is an excellent one. I am not very fond of slow songs by death metal bands, but Obituary knows how to pull them off very well.

Evil Ways is the best track off this album. It has the coolest riffs and guitar soloing. The vocals by John Tardy sound excellent on this track and this is John’s best performance on the entire album. Of course, you can decipher what John is saying and he is like that on the other songs. This song is extremely catchy. I find myself vocalizing along with John when I listen to this track in my car or when I’m at home. This is one of the best songs Obituary has recorded, in my opinion.

One of the best aspects about this album is the fact that they have a guitar virtuoso on here. Ralph Santolla is a mind-blowing guitarist who pulls off awesome guitar work with Trevor Peres. They are a good team. Ralph’s material on Deicide’s Stench of Redemption did not impress me and he makes up for it on this record. Some of his guitar playing sounds a little bit reminiscent to James Murphy’s work on Cause of Death. However, they are two totally different guitarists.

This is a must have for any Obituary fan. I suggest you to buy this one, rather than download it. Obituary are one of the hardest working death metal bands in the world. They claim to be the heaviest band in the world as well. They did put out a heavy record that is worth picking up at your record store. If you don’t own this, what are you waiting for? Pick it up right now! You will not be disappointed if you are a big fan of Obituary.