‘Slowly We Rot’
There has always been a lot of focus on Bay Area thrash scene, but by the late 1980’s, the Florida Tampa Bay death metal scene was burgeoning with bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide and Obituary. These bands helped to refine and pioneer the death metal sound which we know today and one of the albums to do this was ‘Slowly We Rot’, the seminal debut album by Obituary.
‘Slowly We Rot’ is full of the grisly riffs, meaty drumming and primal howls that you would expect from Tampa Bay’s foremost band. Allen West and Trevor Peres bounce off each other perfectly as Obituary do their best to bore into the listener’s skull with their driving riffs which excellently push along with the drums of Donald Tardy. These rhythms float happily somewhere between Slayer and Death, the band even alluding to the former during ‘Suffocation’ with a ‘Postmortem’ style guitar solo. But what makes this album is John Tardy, it is his instantly recognisable and unique growl during tracks such as ‘Internal Bleeding’, ‘Bloodsoaked’, ‘Intoxicated’, ‘Suffocation’ and the title track which make this album so enjoyable, appealing and even genre defining. However, ‘Slowly We Rot’ would not sound anywhere near as good without the excellent production of Scott Burns. Burns is the man who is famous for albums such as ‘Leprosy’ and ‘Spiritual Healing’ by Death, ‘Piece of Time’ by Atheist and ‘Beneath the Remains’ by Sepultura and is just as integral to the death metal sound as any band or musician with his studio wizardry and on ‘Slowly We Rot’, this reigns supreme.
Other than a rather dodgy album cover, ‘Slowly We Rot’ is not only a death metal masterpiece, but it is also a genuine heavy metal classic and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as ‘Black Sabbath’, ‘Welcome to Hell’ ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ and ‘Reign In Blood’.