Famously noted for his devout Christian beliefs, the God-fearing Glen Benton has never been shy about expressing his religious side. A deeply pious man, the always smiling Benton assembled his first church choir in 1987. Going by the name of Amon, and aided by an unofficial fifth member, Jesus, the small band of congregants decided to change their name to something a little more wholesome and reverential. Settling upon Deicide (the act of killing a god), the four-piece inexplicably found themselves at the forefront of the burgeoning Floridian Death Metal scene, going on to inspire an untold number of godless hairy noisemakers. Continue reading
Ralph Santolla who was left in a coma at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida after suffering a heart attack last week has passed away. He was 51. Ralph has been a member and lead guitarist of such bands as Deicide, Obituary, Iced Earth, a touring member of Death and more recently his new project Devils Highway. We wish Ralph’s family, friends and fans strength at this difficult time.
Ralph Santolla is in a coma at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida after suffering a heart attack Tuesday night. Ralph has been a member and lead guitarist of such bands as Deicide, Obituary, Iced Earth, a touring member of Death and more. Ralph’s family is keeping hope that he will recover.
Death Metal legends Obituary are back with their first album in five years. Times may change and the band might have embraced the crowdfunding model for funding, but the music is still firmly in the bloody grave of the 1980s. Inked In Blood (Relapse) is the ninth album from the Florida five-piece, currently made up of John Tardy (vocals), Donald Tardy (drums), Kenny Andrews (lead guitar), Trevor Peres (rhythm guitar) and Terry Butler (bass). Andrews and Butler make their studio debut after the departure of Ralph Santolla and long-time bassist Frank Watkins.
That the new album was funded through crowdfunding site Kickstarter and raised six times its original goal of $10,000 shows the band are still in high demand, even after 25-odd years. And with that $60,000 Obituary have delivered a decent slab of classic, straightforward death metal.
Opener ‘Centuries of Lies’ storms straight for the jugular, full of aggression and power. ‘Violent By Nature’ is a sinister mid-tempo slasher, while ‘Violence’ is a classic brutal thrashers. The riffs and downtuned and mean with squealing solos, the double-kick drums rarely let up, and John Tardy’s vocals are as evil as ever.
New guitarist Andrews does a good job of replacing Santolla and delivers simple, straight the point chainsaw riffs. Much of the album sounds like a lost relic from the late 80s or early 90s, which is no terrible thing, but does sound somewhat dated. The slower sings get bogged down and rarely pique the interest; the likes of ‘Back on Top,’ ‘Deny You,’ ‘Out for Blood’ and the title track kill off much of the momentum gathered by the early thrashers. Unfortunately from there on, despite some strong songs, the urgency is lost.
The likes of Carcass and At The Gates have shown age is nothing but a number when it comes to staying relevant in an overcrowded scene. Sadly Obituary arena’ up to the same standard. Inked in Blood is another decent, if uninspiring release from the Florida legends. There’s plenty of enjoyable moments, but little we’ve not heard before and can at times all get a bit pedestrian.