Genre: death metal
After a five-year gap, the death metal veterans in Obituary released their ninth full-length album "Inked in Blood". I've seen some reviews criticizing Obituary for having stagnated on this album, while others praise them for sticking to their guns.
The thing is, there are bands that we expect to reinvent themselves with every release, like Cynic, but there are also bands that we do not expect to reinvent themselves with each new album - bands that we don't want to change - like AC/DC and, indeed, Obituary. These are bands whose strength is that they can consistently deliver strong material without resorting to radical style changes.
Obviously, I belong to the group of people who praise Obituary for consistency. This album sounds like an Obituary album to the point that the band uses the same formula of opening the album with a fast song and then delivering heavier tracks with a couple of fast ones every now and then. As one can only expect, the music on this album is primitive death metal with faster tracks taking on a bit of a thrashy feel, while the heavier tracks are crushing and devastating. So, yeah, this sounds like Obituary always sounds, and I wouldn't have it any other way. That said, the guitar solos strike me as being a bit more melodic and a tad more technical than usual, which is about as innovative as this album gets. That's fine. Innovation in smaller doses is the Obituary way.
Production-wise, I think the album sounds a bit thin, and with less bottom than I would usually expect from Obituary, but this is nothing that detracts from the listening experience.
Recommended to fans of Obituary. If you want innovation from Obituary, then you are not a fan of Obituary. :-P