By Jonathan Smith
The latest effort from famous Floridian band Obituary is a “summer blockbuster” album if there ever was one. The death metal sound (with some definite thrash moments here and there) is straight-forward to the point of being completely predictable. However, if this is what one wants and expects, then there is little reason to complain. The songs are quick and to-the-point, ready-made to get heads banging in the coming tour. John Tardy’s vocals are just clear enough that some of the lyrics can be understood, particularly during the choruses. The twin guitars of Trevor Peres and Ralph Santolla saw and squeal their way through the album, and while they’re heavy they are never daunting or inaccessible. Donald Tardy’s drums form a catchy backbone, and everything is mixed together into a down-tuned mix of sludgy sound. Andreas Marschall’s cover art sets the tone well — Obituary’s image invokes an obviously beloved dark fantasy world of scaly beasts, Lovecraftian monsters, barbarian warriors, and buckets of blood. Darkest Day may not be made of the deepest of substance, but the album seems to honestly revel in what it is and doesn’t pretend to be anything more or less.