Possessed and Death may have brought death metal to life, but Obituary brought it to fruition. After releasing some demos as Xecutioner as far back as 1986, the five-man band debuted as Obituary in 1989 with Slowly We Rot, and in a word, the album was a landmark. The previous forays into what would quickly become tagged as death metal - primarily by the above-mentioned bands, Possessed and Death, along with grindcore innovators Repulsion and Napalm Death - were exercises in relentlessness. These bands took the breakneck abandon of Slayer's Reign in Blood one step further, to the point of sheer, sometimes even ridiculous musical abandon. Obituary, on the other hand, varied their tempo considerably - and did so at the absolute height of speed metal nonetheless.
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