Obituary - The End Complete
Roadrunner Records
Death Metal
9 songs (35:17)
Release year: 1992
Obituary, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Following up two albums as brilliant and genre-defining as Slowly We Rot and Cause Of Death would be a problem for any band, and although Obituary managed to produce one of their best albums overall with The End Complete, it’s still a big step down from the two classics that preceded it. Strangely, it was a big seller for Roadrunner at the time, shifting more than 250,000 copies worldwide and 100,000 in the US alone – it’s hardly a lightening of the band’s dense and depressing sound. Instead, the band seem determined to push their Deathly style even more, dropping the atmospheric intros and concentrating on their meaty guitar sound. The rabid opener that is I’m In Pain alone shifts from mid-paced churn to faster, almost thrashy pummelling – fans of Obituary will know that they mostly stick to their signature sound, and this is no exception overall, nine speedy bursts of bloodsoaked riffs and and John Tardy’s crypt-based rotten snarl. Although James Murphy had been replaced by Allen West, there’s no real deterioration in the riffs or solos, the likes of Back To One bearing stellar examples of the latter, and no bad songs.

Where fans would call this a solid album, detractors of the band like to point at their repetitious work ethic, repeating the same formula on each album with the only differences between them being how good the resulting songs are. Of course, this is just the third full-length from Obituary, and given how well their first two albums had been received, why on earth would they want to change it? There may not be any true standout tracks here like Chopped In Half or that classic cover of Celtic Frost’s Circle Of The Tyrants, but the songs on offer here are more than good enough. The sheer approach is as praiseworthy as ever in itself, the slower, Doomier tones undertaken on the likes of In The End Of Life very effective, as are the catchy rhythms of Sickness and the sharp-edged crunch of Corrosive, with more particularly excellent soloing. Killing Time has touches of groove that would later be explored more fully in the band’s career to varying levels of acclaim, and the closing duo of the title track and Rotting Ways each kill in their own way, the former’s stop-start chuggery and the latter’s creepy finale both gripping equally hard with their cold skeletal grasp.

And that’s it! It’s quite a short album, and standard in that there are no real surprises. This is Obituary at their most solid and intense, full of the razor-tipped riffs and spewed zombie vocals that we know and love. Lacking the atmosphere and sheer brilliance of its predecessor as it does, it’s still a must-have for fans of the band, deserving its place on any Death Metal shelf. Obituary would infamously start to tread water over the next couple of albums, before their recent comeback efforts have brought them full circle to greatness again, but despite its financial success The End Complete rarely seems to get mentioned these days. That should change.

Killing Songs :
I’m In Pain, Back To One, Dead Silence, Sickness, Corrosive, The End Complete, Rotting Ways
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Obituary that we have reviewed:
Obituary - Inked in Blood reviewed by Jared and quoted 79 / 100
Obituary - Slowly We Rot reviewed by Charles and quoted CLASSIC
Obituary - Darkest Day reviewed by James and quoted 85 / 100
Obituary - Left To Die reviewed by James and quoted no quote
Obituary - Xecutioners Return reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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