Obituary (band)

Last updated
Obituary live in Toronto, 2009.jpg
Obituary live in Toronto, 2009
Background information
Also known as
  • Executioner (1984–1986)
  • Xecutioner (1986–1988)
Origin Tampa, Florida, United States
Years active
  • 1984–1997
  • 2003–present
Associated acts
Members Trevor Peres
Donald Tardy
John Tardy
Terry Butler
Kenny Andrews

Obituary is an American death metal band formed in Tampa, Florida, in 1984. Initially called Executioner, the band changed its name to Xecutioner in 1986 to avoid confusion with the thrash metal band Executioner from Boston, and then changed its name once again to Obituary in 1988. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, rhythm guitarist Trevor Peres, bassist Terry Butler, and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews. Obituary has gone through several lineup changes, with the Tardy brothers and Peres being the only constant members. The band was a fundamental act in the development of death metal music, [1] and is one of the most successful death metal bands of all time. [2] To date, Obituary has released ten studio albums, and with the exception of their 1997–2003 split, they continue to perform live around the world. Their music is based around heavily groove based riffs and drumming along with John Tardy's barking vocals, which create their signature brand of death metal.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Tampa, Florida City in Central Florida

Tampa is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. The bay's port is the largest in the state, near downtown's Channel District. Bayshore Boulevard runs along the bay, and is east of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood.

Executioner was a thrash metal band from Boston that was active from 1984 to 1990.



Obituary is one of the pioneering bands of the death metal genre. Founded as Executioner in Seffner, Florida in 1984, they soon dropped the "E" from their name after discovering another band of the same name, becoming Xecutioner. The band's first lineup was composed of John Tardy (lead vocals), Donald Tardy (drums), Trevor Peres (rhythm guitar), Jerome Grable (bass), & Jerry Tidwell (lead guitar). The band released demos in 1985, 1986, and 1987, (the 1985 demo as Executioner and the 1986 and 1987 demos as Xecutioner). They made their vinyl debut in 1987 with two tracks ("Find the Arise" and "Like the Dead") on the Raging Death compilation.

Seffner, Florida Census-designated place in Florida, United States

Seffner is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. The population was 7,579 at the 2010 census, up from 5,467 at the 2000 census. ZIP codes for the Seffner area are 33584 and 33583.

Florida State of the United States of America

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.

Not long after the release of the compilation, bassist Grable was replaced by Daniel Tucker. The following year, shortly before the release of the band's first album Slowly We Rot , they changed their name to Obituary.

<i>Slowly We Rot</i> 1989 studio album by Obituary

Slowly We Rot is the debut album by American death metal band Obituary. It was released on May 16, 1989 and is the only Obituary album to feature bassist Daniel Tucker, guitarist Allen West would leave soon after but returned for the third album The End Complete. It was re-released on January 27, 1997 with remastered sound and liner notes.

After 1997's Back from the Dead album, the band had grown tired of touring, which led to the group disbanding. During this time period, Donald Tardy played in Andrew W.K.'s touring band (during W.K.'s appearance on Saturday Night Live Tardy wore an Obituary shirt). Allen West focused on his two projects, Lowbrow and Six Feet Under. Trevor Peres formed Catastrophic in 2001, which released one album, The Cleansing, in that same year. Obituary reformed in 2003 and Catastrophic continued to exist alongside the reformed Obituary. A reunion album, Frozen in Time , was released in 2005. The band's first live DVD, Frozen Alive , was released in January 2007.

<i>Back from the Dead</i> (Obituary album) 1997 studio album by Obituary

Back from the Dead is the fifth album by American death metal band Obituary. It was released on April 22, 1997. This was the band's final album before their six-year breakup from 1997 to 2003.

Andrew W.K. American singer-songwriter

Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier, better known by his stagename Andrew W.K., is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music producer. Raised in Michigan, Wilkes-Krier began his musical career in the mid-1990s performing in a number of local bands before eventually moving to New York, where he produced his first recordings under the Andrew W.K. moniker.

<i>Saturday Night Live</i> American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show

Saturday Night Live (SNL) is an American late-night live television variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title NBC's Saturday Night. The show's comedy sketches, which often parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying cast of repertory and newer cast members. Each episode is hosted by a celebrity guest, who usually delivers the opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast as with featured performances by a musical guest. An episode normally begins with a cold open sketch that ends with someone breaking character and proclaiming, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!", properly beginning the show.

Obituary was signed with Candlelight Records for its next three releases, Xecutioner's Return (2007), Darkest Day (2009), and the EP Left to Die (2008). A concert DVD release was also announced for January 2010. [3] Since 2012, the band have been highly involved with the promotion of a new social networking site called Unation, as well as Donald Tardy beginning a Cat Sanctuary organization called Metal Meowlisha, an organization practicing "trap-neuter-vaccinate-return", and caring for 25 cat colonies (200 cats). [4]

Candlelight Records is a British record label based in England and founded by former Extreme Noise Terror bassist Lee Barrett, though it has had a division in the United States since January 2001. Candlelight Records specialises in black metal, and later on melodic death metal and death metal, having bands such as Emperor, Obituary, 1349, Theatre of Tragedy, Xerath, Dismember, Keep of Kalessin, TheLord, Nachtmystium, KKDT42 and Zyklon on its roster. The label is notable for putting out early releases from influential bands such as TheLord, Opeth and Emperor. Candlelight Records is in co-operation with Appease Me Records and AFM Records. In January 19, 2016, Candlelight was acquired by Spinefarm Records.

<i>Xecutioners Return</i> 2007 studio album by Obituary

Xecutioner's Return is the seventh studio album by the death metal band Obituary, released on August 28, 2007 through Candlelight Records. The title of the album is derived from the band's original band name, which was Xecutioner. It was released on August 28, 2007. The album is their first album since 1990's Cause of Death to be recorded without guitarist Allen West and the first album to feature guitarist Ralph Santolla. Though hailed as a partial return to the more speed-based style of the band's early work, it received positive reviews from critics but mixed reviews from the fanbase.

<i>Darkest Day</i> 2009 studio album by Obituary

Darkest Day is the eighth studio album by the American death metal band Obituary. It was released on June 30, 2009 through Candlelight Records. Darkest Day is the final Obituary album to feature both longtime bassist Frank Watkins, who had played in the band since Cause of Death (1990), and guitarist Ralph Santolla.

In April 2010, Obituary began work on new material for their ninth studio album Inked in Blood , which was not released until 2014. [5] [6] [7] It was the first Obituary album not to be recorded with longtime bassist Frank Watkins since their 1989 debut album Slowly We Rot . [7] In 2013, the band rebuilt their studio, and continued work on the new album.[ citation needed ] On Friday, August 2, 2013, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $10,000.00; the money raised was promised to allow Obituary to record and release their ninth album independently. The goal was met on August 3. When interviewed by metal webzine All About The Rock, John Tardy said of the Kickstarter campaign, "This campaign has been awesome and just confirms again what we already know and that is that we have the greatest fans in the world. We are using Kickstarter to raise enough money to release an album on our own. This is not a bash against record companies, it is just what we want to do. Years ago this would not even be a thought, but today we feel everything is in place for us, for better or worse, give it a shot.". [8] Though the band raised enough money to self-released, they were still signed to Relapse Records and partnered with the label for distribution of Inked In Blood, their first Relapse release. [9]

<i>Inked in Blood</i> 2014 studio album by Obituary

Inked in Blood is the ninth studio album by American death metal band Obituary. It was crowdfunded via Kickstarter and then released on October 28th, 2014 through Gibtown Music/Relapse Records. It is the first studio album with bassist Terry Butler and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews, making this the first Obituary album not to feature Frank Watkins on bass since 1989's Slowly We Rot. A deluxe edition of the album was also released containing two bonus tracks. It is their first album to appear on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 5,200 copies in its first week and peaking at 79.

Frank Watkins (musician) American musician

Frank Watkins was an American heavy metal musician best known as a former, long-time bass player for the death metal band Obituary; he played with them from 1989 to 1997 and then from 2007 until 2010. He had been the bass player of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth at the time of his death, where he had been known as Bøddel.

On October 18, 2015, former and longtime Obituary bassist Frank Watkins died from cancer. [10]

On August 24, 2016, Obituary streamed a new song called "Loathe", a B-side to their then-upcoming single "Ten Thousand Ways to Die", which was released on October 21. [11] The band released their self-titled tenth studio album on March 17, 2017. [12] A month prior to its release, the band released a song called "No", which appeared on Decibel Magazine's flexi disc series. [13]

In November and December 2018, Obituary embarked on a European tour as part of Slayer's farewell tour, also featuring Lamb of God and Anthrax. [14] When asked in a June 2018 interview about the next Obituary album, drummer Donald Tardy said, "We're always thinking about new songs and writing riffs and this and that. But at this time of our lives and this time of the music industry… This new album has only been out for just over a year now, so we're in no hurry to try and push another album out of us as quick as we can; there's no sense." [15]

Band members


Obituary (band)


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<i>The End Complete</i> 1992 studio album by Obituary

The End Complete is the third album by American death metal band Obituary. It was released on April 21, 1992. This album marked the return of guitarist Allen West who performed on the debut album.

<i>Anthology</i> (Obituary album) 2001 greatest hits album by Obituary

Anthology is a 2001 greatest hits album by American death metal band Obituary. The compilation features songs recorded from the band's early career, from 1989's Slowly we Rot album to 1997's Back from the Dead. The compilation also contains two previously unreleased tracks recorded in 1998 before the band was separated.

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<i>Frozen Alive</i> 2007 live album by Obituary

Frozen Alive is Obituary's first live DVD. It was recorded August 24, 2006 in Warsaw, Poland. It has songs from each of their albums through Frozen in Time. It also contains an interview conducted a day before the show.

<i>The Best of Obituary</i> 2008 compilation album by Obituary

The Best of Obituary is a compilation album by death metal band Obituary, released in 2008.

<i>Left to Die</i> 2008 EP by Obituary

Left to Die is an extended play by death metal band Obituary.

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Obituary discography

The discography of Obituary, an American death metal band, consists of ten studio albums, one live album, two compilation albums, two extended plays, two DVDs and seven music videos.

<i>Obituary</i> (album) 2017 studio album by Obituary

Obituary is the self-titled tenth studio album by American death metal band Obituary, released on March 17, 2017.


  1. Jason Birchmeier. "Obituary | Biography". AllMusic . Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  2. "It's official: Cannibal Corpse are the top-selling death metal band of the SoundScan era". Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  3. "OBITUARY: 'Live Xecution' DVD Trailer Available - Dec. 4, 2009". . Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  4. Victoria Oliveira (2014-09-23). "INTERVIEW: OBITUARY'". RockRevolt Magazine™.
  5. "OBITUARY Begins Work On New Material - Apr. 20, 2010". . Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  6. "OBITUARY To Perform First Three Albums During Live Pay-Per-Event - May 31, 2013". . Retrieved 2010-05-31.
  7. 1 2 "OBITUARY: New Album Title Revealed - July 28, 2014". . Retrieved 2014-07-29.
  8. Hogan, Craig (August 13, 2013). "Interview with Obituary frontman John Tardy". All About the Rock. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  9. "Obituary - Obituary and Relapse Records Join Forces; Band Finalizing New Album - Relapse Records". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  10. "Former Obituary Bassist Frank Watkins Dies At 47". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  11. "Obituary To Release 'Ten Thousand Ways To Die' Single In October; New Song 'Loathe' Streaming". August 24, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  12. "Obituary To Release Self-Titled Tenth Album In March". January 11, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  13. "Obituary Premieres New Track "No"". February 15, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  14. "SLAYER Announces Final European Tour With LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX And OBITUARY". May 11, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  15. "OBITUARY Is In No Rush To Make New Studio Album". . June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.

Further reading