Obituary (band)

Obituary live in Toronto, 2009.jpg
Obituary live in Toronto, 2009
Background information
Also known as
  • Executioner (1984–1986)
  • Xecutioner (1986–1988)
OriginTampa, Florida, United States
Years active
  • 1984–1997
  • 2003–present
Associated acts
MembersTrevor 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.


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.

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.

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.

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]

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.[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]

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]

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