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A brutal demise. - 74%

enigmatech, September 12th, 2012

In 1994, Obituary took a slight turn from their classic, Celtic Frost-influenced death metal roots, in favor of a sound which, while still carrying on the Obituary torch and remaining in the same general realm as the band's previous works, was distinctly different. Yes, John Tardy's vocals are still guttural and inhuman, Donald Tardy's drumming still grooves beneath the brutal riffing of Trevor Peres and Frank Watkins, while the lead guitar work of Allen West twists and turns, sickly contorting, yet still retaining a semblance of melody. Yes, this is still Obituary, but there's something else, behind it all, which adds to the album in a different way than anything the band had done up to this point.

Some fans claim that this was the dawn of the band's experimentation with more "current" genres, such as groove metal, or genres outside of metal, such as punk, hardcore, or rock. And sure, there are touches of that in the band's sound...but where? John Tardy's grunts have hardly changed at all (if anything, they sound more vicious and powerful than ever), and I'll be damned if the classic, churning riffwork of guitarists Trevor Peres and Allen West (or bassist Frank Watkins) have traversed into any genre outside of death metal. In fact, the only thing that is markedly different from past efforts, is that drummer Donald Tardy completely shifts away from speed, in favor of a more groove-oriented approach. And I'm not kidding when I say that there are only two moments on the entire album where he kicks up any dust at all and decides to speed it up a notch (the track "Solid State" has a fast, old school death metal bridge, and there is a brief d-beat during one of the solos of "Paralysing"). His drumming, alone, is what makes this album sound so much different from past efforts. Just listen to the opening drum beat to "Lost", which I would dare to say has a vague hip-hop influence. While I wouldn't go as far as to attempt to justify this as another genre, it's certainly different from the band's previous works, and, in all honesty, most death metal.

There is also a smaller focus on "gore-related" themes with this album. While Obituary were never a "gore" band, their music often possessed an extremely dark energy which painted mental images of zombies rising from the grave (check out "Slowly We Rot"), ancient evils rising from the depths to claim the earth (check out "Cause of Death"), or desolate wastelands devoid of all life (check out "The End Complete"). Here, however, the band takes on a completely different image. The album cover, for instance, does not depict blood or guts, but rather, a vast landscape of factories billowing smoke to the heavens. This is, in some ways, indicative of the music itself, which is nowhere near as dark or evil as the band's previous.

However, what it lacks in evil, it makes up for in anger. This is one fucking angry album. Influenced by hardcore punk or not, there's no denying that the band put much more emotion and personality into their performance here, which may not have been so evident on past works. Of course, that doesn't make it better. Tracks such as "Lost" are among the worst of the band's catalog (even sitting below most of the less-than remarkable "Back from the Dead"), and let's face it, none of the tracks on this album really stand up to the quality which the band had previously set, with their first three, classic albums. I would suggest that anyone looking to listen to Obituary check out any of the first three, and perhaps avoid this album until a bit later.

All in all, I like this album. It's a heavy, angry album, and is certainly very, very fun...but as someone who worships the first trilogy of Obituary albums, I can say without batting an eyelash that it's not their best. After this, Obituary would go on to release two more albums, more or less in this style (1997's "Back from the Dead" and 2005's "Frozen in Time"), before returning to their roots with 2007's stellar "Xecutioner's Return". I am also aware they released another album since then, but I can't find it in any record stores, so I can't say much about that one. I'd say this album is probably the best of their more "groove-oriented" era, featuring a number of classic tracks, but all in all, every Obituary album is worth checking out!

The shocked earth groans - 68%

autothrall, April 23rd, 2011

By the time World Demise rolled around, the audience for extreme metal had already begun to change far and wide. A lot more punk and hardcore kids were attending the shows, in my region even making up the bulk of any death or thrash gig attendance, and it only makes sense that bands would begin to adapt. If you'd been to a performance by this band in the mid to late 90s in the States, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Now, I'm not accusing Obituary of some chameleon strategy, and a band cannot necessarily choose its audience (nor should they), but there can be no dispute that the band was beginning to incorporate an increasing amount of heavier grooves into their songs, perfectly suited to the mosh tastes of a wider fan base seeking the release of youthful testosterone (or estrogen) over the endurance of lasting, legendary music.

On the one hand, World Demise creatively channels the underlying themes of their classics Slowly We Rot and Cause of Death into an urban bricklaying force, with a near excess of manly swagger. We had already been inundated with the hilarious "Don't Care" from the EP of the same name earlier in the year, but here it sits atop its proper throne of primal, driving grooves and crude but effective chorus. John Tardy sounds quite good here, as he does on the concrete crushing of the title track, another of the clear favorites here for the relationship of the descending chugs and resonant growling; and a great pure old school, creepy death bridge. Other pieces of note include the almost hypnotic sway of "Lost", the warlike percussion of "Redefine", and of course "Final Thoughts", with the hugest and most menacing groove on the entire album. Most of these do suffer from a faint reek of useless repetition, and in most cases :30 seconds could have been snipped to greater effect, but they're all fun enough songs that the album was almost instantaneously more memorable than its dull predecessor The End Complete.

On the other, I really would have liked more fast material on this album. It's all too rare that the band will surge into one of their morbid and wild, frenetic scenarios, like the bridge to "Solid State" and its winding, deceptively sloppy lead sequence. There are some decent old school rhythms here that hearken back to the heyday of Xecutioner and Death ("Set in Stone", etc), but not enough. A lot of 'one and done' tracks choke off the album's efficiency: "Burned In", "Paralyzing", "Kill for Me", "Boiling Point" are not incompetent, but they suffer from familiar vocals patterns and tempos that have already been done better (by this very same band). As an EP with 6-7 songs, this would have been all I could hope for, but the 51 minutes of its entirety are swollen with redundant ideas and a decided lack of restraint.

Scott Burns had a hand in the recording here, and it's another success for him, ably capturing the band's broad Hellhammer guitar tone and vocal dynamics. Despite the simplicity of the song titles (not a first for Obituary), the minimalist lyrics are rather poignant, a disjointed poetry, though there is no question the band was aiming for a more socially conscious subject matter than their past albums. The cover art is probably the worst of the band's career (even suckier than some of their post-hiatus flops), but it too reflects this shift towards matters of importance with impunity. All told, World Demise is far from the worst of Obituary's full-length excursions, but neither is it consistently engaging. A scant few tracks belong among the band's career highlights, and the rest snuggle comfortably into oblivion.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Reflex Of Our Dying World - 93%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 10th, 2007

I can still remember the day my cousin made me listen to this record. I was quite young and my small metal collection included just some Metallica and Iron Maiden stuff. When I first listen to this cassette I was shocked! This was the heaviest thing I’ve ever heard. Actually, listen to this one now, I must say that it’s not the heaviest thing on earth, but it’s always a fucking Obituary album!!
I’ve listened to this album about a million times and I definitely love it.

“World Demise” is a classic in the Obituary discography, recorded after one of the best sold death metal album in history, “The End Complete”. Actually, this one is a bit different from the albums before, but always remaining fucking Obituary in style (rotten, down tuned and death metal). Anyway, it is a bit slower with less fast parts. The biggest fast parts have some “hardcore” components, so new for the group. The tempo parts are a bit changed, while the drums are less direct but more various and technical.

The guitars are always low tuned and the first track, Don’t Care, contains a bit different lyrics from the past albums: this one talks about pollution in the world, the decadence of the nature, killed by the men. From this song they took a video, the first one in their career. The atmosphere in this album is still obscure, more than in “The End Complete” album, that was more direct. The new “punkish” influences can be found also in the beginning of the song Redefine.

One of the Obituary’s most important characteristic is the use of some gloomy noises during or at the beginning of the songs…noises that can come directly from polluted cities, abandoned factories and so on. Explosions, metallic noises, so dark and weird. They contributed to give something darker to an already not so happy music. Great. The beginning of Lost song is, I think, one of the darkest in the entire album. Solid State song, along with Don’t Care, is one of the classics. It's simply great with his main, fast riff break in the middle. Still played live by the group.

Splattered and Final Thoughts are songs dedicated to all those motherfuckers, bastards that kill animals for their skin… brutal photos can be found in the booklet of the CD, about people with AIDS, children that play in dirty, rotten places and so on…a good picture of our dying planet.

With this album, Obituary, still remaining death metal, wanted to slow down a bit their music, concentrating the attention on the songwriting. The tracks are more complex, with more tempo changes and they are always supported by their typical atmosphere of death, their guitars so violent and obscure and finally the unique, animal growl of John Tardy. Total support for this band and this album. A must for every death metal fan.

Solid State - 86%

Vim_Fuego, August 8th, 2004

Obituary were victims of their own success. With the stunning combination of a legendary debut, a follow up album which many rate better than the first, and a third album which was the highest selling Death Metal album of all time, it was bound to come a little unstuck on the fourth album.

There is nothing obviously wrong with 'World Demise'. It takes the raw brutality of 'Slowly We Rot', the Celtic Frost worship of 'Cause Of Death', and the clinical precision of 'The End Complete' to a new level. Everything Obituary made their name with is here — thunderous guitars, assault and battery of the drum kit and of course Donald Tardy's trademark vomitory death grunt.

Obituary developed a very tight sound, which first became evident on 'The End Complete', and became fully operational here. A lot of the fuzzier, less distinct parts of Trevor Peres' rhythm guitar were sharpened up. Some of the charm of early Obituary was the fact it was recorded primitively, giving it a warm "feel". Crisper production, and improvements in playing technique took a lot of that feel and character away from the band's sound. In its place is a more precise, colder, almost robotic feel, more synthetic than natural. Everything seems exact, deliberate, planned, and faultless. Many former fans were put off.

What better than a mechanical sound for decrying pollution and industrialisation though? Opener "Don't Care" and "Solid State" particularly demand instant respect for exacting execution. Like an automated Orwellian nightmare, they stamp on your conscious mind remorselessly. Escaping the nightmare, "Final Thoughts" explores the last flickers of neurons through the brain before you pull the trigger.

Death Metal can be a very restrictive genre to work within. A lot of fans expect things to be exactly right, with little room for deviation. Obituary tried something a little different here. There are vocal samples mumbling away under a lot of the tracks. Who knows what they are saying, but the almost subliminal effect on the sound is engaging. Also, on final track "Kill For Me", there are African tribal percussion samples. The loop adds an interesting percussive effect. It is unfortunate the band did not explore this avenue further.

Time hasn't been terribly kind to this album. The first three are fondly remembered by most fans, but not this for some reason. It is really a continuation of 'The End Complete'. Perhaps it is because Death Metal had progressed and caught up with where Obituary had been five years earlier.

A strong album - 70%

Shovel, July 22nd, 2003

Obituary continue their pace forward with their fourth full length album. It is basically the same formula as their previous works, except that John Tardy becomes a bit clearer. You can actually hear what he is saying most of the time, but his lyrics still don't make any sense.

The thick guitars, tuned lower than normal (even for death metal), sludge on at a pummeling pace, but they never get as fast as they were on Slowly We Rot.

Donald Tardy really shows his skills on drums. While he isn't the most skilled at speed drumming, his unique rhythm work on the bass drums puts him above the par line. Don't expect too many blastbeats. There are a few, but they are few and far between.

One of the things that has seperated Obituary from the rest of their peers is their use of sound affects. A wierd ass reverberation noise is used in the title track (during the chorus). The entire album is riddled with sound affects, tribal drums, and other strange extras. These actually spice up the album, and make it more interesting then Obituary's other late works.

All together, this album is a breath of fresh air in a stale genre, where everyone is concentrating on blastbeats and speed riffs. Don't expect a cookie cutter album, the Tardys and their cohorts like to experiment. They succeeded.