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Obituary, Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, January 11th.

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Obituary returned to Dublin for a night of classic death metal that only a bunch of long haired Floridians can provide. Despite a number of hitches involving awful support acts and problems with setting up, this was a top drawer gig from one of the legends of death metal.

It was like the last fifteen years never happened tonight. The opening band Off Season were a throwback to simpler times when all a metal band need concern themselves with is battles and unicorns. They were fun but hopelessly out of place supporting Obituary. It's better to be hopelessly out of place than hopelessly awful as was the case with Samael who are joining Obituary on every date of their European tour. They played for what felt like an age with extremely dodgy sounding drum machines backing up some even dodgier vocals and boring guitar work. They made Rammstein look like geniuses.

Things didn’t look well for Obituary when they took to the stage. Due to problems with their backline they didn’t get set up until 10pm, which was a bit of a problem as the venue has an 11pm curfew. The first couple of songs were a shambles: the drums were falling apart and bassist Frank Watkins, throwing shapes instead of playing, managed to unplug his bass and lose the strap off it too within a couple of bars of each other. All was not lost, however, and the band quickly got their shit together and played a blinder of a show. The majority of material was from their first album in eight years, Frozen in Time. I’ve yet to hear the album but from hearing the songs live I can say it’s a very apt title. Obituary sound exactly as they did when they started. It wasn't stagnant though, sounding more like a distilling of their sound into a purer form. The new material sat perfectly with tracks from the earlier albums. One downer was the quality of the guitar solos, a couple of barely audible pinch harmonics followed by a hackneyed divebomb does not a solo make.

Leaving the stage at curfew time I thought we’d seen the last of them but true to the spirit of rock they returned to play well past our bedtime (Donald Tardy managing to include a lengthy self-indulgent drum solo while the rest of the band were backstage). The band were visibly excited to be playing and fed off the buzz from the crowd, especially during a great rendition of “Slowly We Rot.” A reunion album and tour signs the death warrant of many a band but there will be no obituary for Obituary in the near future from the looks of things.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2006 12:30  


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