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Obituary (band)

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Title: Obituary (band)  
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Subject: James Murphy (guitarist), Anthology (Obituary album), Slowly We Rot, Ralph Santolla, Wacken Open Air
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Obituary (band)

Obituary live in Toronto, 2009
Background information
Also known as Executioner, Xecutioner
Origin Tampa, Florida
Genres Death metal
Years active 1984–1997, 2003–present
Labels Roadrunner, Candlelight, Relapse
Associated acts Six Feet Under, Death, Deicide, Massacre, Denial Fiend, Tardy Brothers
Members John Tardy
Trevor Peres
Donald Tardy
Terry Butler
Kenny Andrews
Past members Former members

Obituary is an American death metal band formed in 1984 in Tampa, Florida under the name Executioner, then changed the name's spelling to Xecutioner, and later changed their name to Obituary in 1988. The band comprises vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, guitarist Trevor Peres and bassist Terry Butler. The band is a fundamental act in the development of death metal music[1] and one of the most successful death metal bands in the world.[2]


Obituary are one of the pioneering bands of the death metal genre. Founded as Executioner in Seffner, Florida during 1984. They soon dropped the "E" from their name because of another band of the same name, becoming Xecutioner. At the time the band was composed of John Tardy (vocals), Allen West (lead guitar), JP Chartier (guitar), Jerome Grable (bass) & Donald Tardy (drums). 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" & "Like The Dead") on the Raging Death compilation. Not long after its release, Grable was replaced with bassist Daniel Tucker. Shortly before the release of its first album the following year, Slowly We Rot, they changed their name to Obituary. The band still remains an influential piece of the Florida death metal movement that arose in the late 1980s.

After 1997's Back from the Dead album, the band had grown tired of touring, which led to the band disbanding. During the hiatus, 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 while not playing in Obituary. 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.

Obituary was signed with Candlelight Records for its next two albums, Xecutioner's Return (2007) and Darkest Day (2009), as well as the EP Left to Die (2008). A concert DVD release was also announced for January 2010.[3] In April 2010, Obituary began work on new material for their ninth studio album Inked in Blood,[4] which is due for release in October 2014.[5][6] This will be the first Obituary album not to be recorded with longtime bassist Frank Watkins since their 1989 debut album Slowly We Rot as well as the band's first release on Relapse Records.[6]

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). [7] In 2013, the band rebuilt their studio, and continued work on the new album, with Tardy claiming that the band's progress in the studio will be documented on the new website.

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 in on August 3rd, and is still climbing. Obituary has claimed that if the amount of money earned through the campaign extends to 20,000 dollars, the band will release a 4-part documentary style video filmed at the legendary Morrisound Recording Studios in Tampa, Florida. Morrisound is credited with the popularization of heavy metal, and its sub-genre death metal. The band Obituary recorded their most popular, and still most loved albums of their career at Morrisound. The Kickstarter "Morrisound Experience" documentary is said to be shot over three days in which the band revisited their roots, and will include sets from "Slowly We Rot," "Cause of Death" and "The End Complete."

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]

Band members



Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US Heat
Slowly We Rot
  • Released: May 16, 1989
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
Cause of Death
  • Released: September 19, 1990
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
The End Complete
  • Released: April 21, 1992
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
16 52 43 74
World Demise
  • Released: September 6, 1994
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download
17 65 59 39 49
Back from the Dead
  • Released: April 22, 1997
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, digital download
25 92
Frozen in Time
  • Released: July 12, 2005
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
44 93
Xecutioner's Return
  • Released: August 28, 2007
  • Label: Candlelight Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
Darkest Day
  • Released: June 30, 2009
  • Label: Candlelight Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
Inked in Blood[6]
  • Released: October 28, 2014
  • Label: Gibtown Music/Relapse Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
79 174 56 65 81 121 90
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums

Title Album details
  • Released: April 21, 1998
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, digital download

Extended plays

Title EP details
Don't Care
  • Released: July 26, 1994
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS
Left to Die
  • Released: September 16, 2008
  • Label: Candlelight Records
  • Formats: CD, LP

Compilation albums

Title Album details
  • Released: January 23, 2001
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS
The Best of Obituary
  • Released: January 29, 2008
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download

Video albums

Title Video details
Frozen Alive
  • Released: December 6, 2006[21]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD, DVD+CD
Live Xecution Party San 2008[3]
  • Released: November 19, 2009
  • Label: Regain Records
  • Formats: DVD

Music videos

Year Title Directed Album
1992 "The End Complete"
The End Complete
1994 "Don't Care"
World Demise
2005 "Insane" Michael Sarna[22] Frozen In Time
2006 "On The Floor"
2008 "Evil Ways" Hart Fisher[23] Xecutioner's Return


  1. ^ Obituary at Allmusic
  2. ^ " - It's official: Cannibal Corpse are the top-selling death metal band of the SoundScan era". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. ^ a b "OBITUARY: 'Live Xecution' DVD Trailer Available - Dec. 4, 2009".  
  4. ^ "OBITUARY Begins Work On New Material - Apr. 20, 2010".  
  5. ^ "OBITUARY To Perform First Three Albums During Live Pay-Per-Event - May 31, 2013".  
  6. ^ a b c "OBITUARY: New Album Title Revealed - July 28, 2014".  
  7. ^ Victoria Oliveira (2014-09-23). "'"INTERVIEW: OBITUARY. RockRevolt Magazine™. 
  8. ^ Hogan, Craig (August 13, 2013). "Interview with Obituary frontman John Tardy". All About the Rock. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  9. ^
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  18. ^ a b
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Further reading
  • Obituary at Allmusic
  • Slowly We Rot at Allmusic

External links

  • Obituary - biography, discography, lyrics, photos, videos
  • John Tardy Interview at All About The Rock Webzine
  • John Tardy Interview at Diabolical Conquest Webzine
  • Donald Tardy interview (2009) at
  • Obituary at Roadrunner Records
  • 2009 interview with Vocalist John Tardy
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