Dying of Everything

Dying of Everything

“It’s actually something my girlfriend wrote in a poem.” So says Obituary drummer and songwriter Donald Tardy when asked about the killer title of the Florida death-metal band’s first new album in six years. “We just knew it was a perfect title for an album that was written during the pandemic and all this crap that’s going on in the world right now.” Not many bands are writing some of their best material as they’re about to enter their fourth decade of making music, but somehow Obituary are doing just that. Original members Tardy, his brother John (vocals), and Trevor Peres (guitar) have kept their patented death-metal groove on lock with help from bassist Terry Butler and guitarist Kenny Andrews. “I’m proud to say we didn’t take any different approaches,” Tardy offers. “We’re comfortable in our skin, and we know what fans are looking for when they buy an Obituary album. We like our style; we like our feel. We didn’t want to change any of it.” Below, he comments on each track. “Barely Alive” “This is officially the fastest Obituary double-bass song there is in our catalog. I’m very proud of that. Why I decided to play bass drums at this tempo, at 52 years old, I have no idea. I’m not looking forward to what the hell I’m supposed to do now if we start performing this song live. But it’s just a blazing fucking song. I knew right away this was going to be the opener.” “The Wrong Time” “If an alien came down and said, ‘I’ve never heard Obituary—give it to me,’ this would be a track that we would be happy to let them hear because it’s classic Obituary. It’s got that groove. It’s midtempo. It’s what we call our meat and potatoes. We picked this one as the first single knowing we were going to be performing it every night on tour. And it’s gotten great crowd reactions so far, so we’re super stoked.” “Without a Conscience” “A lot of drummers tend to think that you make things heavier by trying to go faster and do more shredding. But this song is the perfect example of how you have to stay in the pocket, playing super solid at the same time. The ending of the song is the classic Vinnie Paul. He’s one of my favorite drummers. Pantera was one of my favorite bands growing up, and now they’re good friends of mine. I took that part right out of Pantera 101.” “War” “Many Obituary fans know that we do not write a ton of lyrics. It’s more about the mood than what’s being said. This is one of those moments where my brother knew his voice was just going to fit the song, and he just had the line ‘waaaaaar!’ stuck in his head. It was his idea to have all the tanks and machine guns and war sound effects. There’s a moment where Trevor is playing his Strat, but it’s not plugged in. It’s just the sound of his strings, and then it punches you in the face and goes back to the heavy groove.” “Dying of Everything” “This is one that Ken and I wrote together. I guess you’d call Ken the new guy, but he’s been in the band for 10 years now. He did a great job on this. And my brother just did a killer job on the vocals. In the middle part, he did like a nightmare, talking-in-your-sleep kind of thing where it builds from a whisper to kind of getting mad, and then there’s a brutal sound effect on his voice when he says, ‘Your only choice is death!’” “My Will to Live” “In my opinion, this is my brother’s best performance on the album. Again, he’s not the dude that’s going to write a thousand words per song. He uses his voice more than he uses his words, but this one is definitely the most lyrically powerful song on the album. The groove is just nonstop on this one, and I think the fans are going to love it. We’re probably going to end up playing it live.” “By the Dawn” “This is about as close as you’re going to get to Obituary ripping off Nasty Savage. They’re one of our earliest influences, so I’m proud to say that we somehow drummed up a Nasty Savage type of feel at 50 years old. It was so apparent to us that we invited David Austin, the [former] Nasty Savage guitar player, to put down two solos with Ken on this song. And they came out killer.” “Weaponize the Hate” “I think this is probably the first song we wrote for the album. It was one that’s been in our back pockets for a while because it’s been six years since the last album. It’s straight double bass, totally punishing but easy to listen to. In the middle part, we had to drop the 808 sub in the middle so anybody that’s got a killer stereo, they’re going to be in for a treat. I think it’s one of the better songs on the album and one of my brother’s better performances as well.” “Torn Apart” “This is Ken’s song. He was doing everything he could to come up with something killer. He was working on this on his own at his house, and when he first sent it to me, the drumbeat was totally different. It was more of an upbeat hardcore gallop. But, again, Pantera is one of my favorites, so I changed it to more of a Pantera-type beat. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album. I’m very proud of what Ken did on this one.” “Be Warned” “This is the slowest, most doomy, heaviest fucking thing that Trevor and I ever wrote. When we were working on it, it just kept getting slower and heavier. But at the same time, I kept hearing an Alice In Chains feel to it, even though it’s a death-metal song. When Ken was at home working on the solo, I was about to text him, ‘Just think Cantrell.’ Before I hit send, I got a text from him going, ‘Check this out.’ Obviously, we were on the same brain wave because he nailed that Cantrell feel without me even telling him.”

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