Obituary (band)

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Obituary live in Toronto, 2009.jpg
Obituary live in Toronto, 2009
Background information
Also known as
  • Executioner
  • Xecutioner
Origin Tampa, Florida, United States
Genres Death metal
Years active 1984–1997, 2003–present
Associated acts
Members John Tardy
Trevor Peres
Donald Tardy
Terry Butler
Kenny Andrews
Past members Former members

Obituary is an American death metal band formed in October 1984 in Tampa, Florida, United States, under the name Executioner, then changed the name's spelling to Xecutioner before finally changing their name to Obituary in 1988. The band comprises vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, guitarist Trevor Peres and bassist Terry Butler. 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]


Obituary are 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 (vocals), Jerry Tidwell (lead guitar), Trevor Peres (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.[3] 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[citation needed] 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.[4] 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).[5]

In April 2010, Obituary began work on new material for their ninth studio album Inked in Blood,.[6][7][8] It was the first Obituary album not to be recorded with longtime bassist Frank Watkins since their 1989 debut album Slowly We Rot.[8] In 2013, the band rebuilt their studio, and continued work on the new album.[citation needed] 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 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.".[9] Though the band raised enough money to self-released, they still signed to Relapse Records and partnered with the label for distribution of Inked In Blood, their first Relapse release.[10]

On October 18, 2015, their former bassist Frank Watkins died from cancer.[11]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

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[8]
  • 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[edit]

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

Extended plays[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Title Video details
Frozen Alive
  • Released: December 6, 2006[24]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD, DVD+CD
Live Xecution Party San 2008[4]
  • Released: November 19, 2009
  • Label: Regain Records
  • Formats: DVD

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Directed Album
1992 "The End Complete"
The End Complete
1994 "Don't Care"
World Demise
2005 "Insane" Michael Sarna[25] Frozen In Time
2006 "On The Floor"
2008 "Evil Ways" Hart Fisher[26] Xecutioner's Return


  1. ^ Jason Birchmeier. "Obituary | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  2. ^ "It's official: Cannibal Corpse are the top-selling death metal band of the SoundScan era". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Various - Raging Death Vol. 1 (Vinyl, LP)". 2015-10-15. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  4. ^ a b "OBITUARY: 'Live Xecution' DVD Trailer Available - Dec. 4, 2009". Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  5. ^ Victoria Oliveira (2014-09-23). "INTERVIEW: OBITUARY'". RockRevolt Magazine™. 
  6. ^ "OBITUARY Begins Work On New Material - Apr. 20, 2010". Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  7. ^ "OBITUARY To Perform First Three Albums During Live Pay-Per-Event - May 31, 2013". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  8. ^ a b c "OBITUARY: New Album Title Revealed - July 28, 2014". Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  9. ^ Hogan, Craig (August 13, 2013). "Interview with Obituary frontman John Tardy". All About the Rock. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Obituary - Obituary and Relapse Records Join Forces; Band Finalizing New Album - Relapse Records". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Former Obituary Bassist Frank Watkins Dies At 47". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  12. ^ "Obituary - Chart history". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  13. ^ "Obituary | Music Biography, Streaming Radio and Discography". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  14. ^ "OBITUARY | Official Charts Company". 2015-03-30. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  15. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  16. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch Charts". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  18. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  19. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  20. ^ "It's Official: Cannibal Corpse Are The Top Selling Death Metal Band Of The Sound Scan Era". 2003-11-17. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  21. ^ a b "Obituary: Entire New Album Available For Streaming". 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  22. ^ "Obituary: 'Darkest Day' First Week Sales Revealed". 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  23. ^ "Obituary's 'Inked In Blood' Cracks U.S. Top 100". 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  24. ^ "Strona GĹ‚Ăłwna". 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  25. ^ "Obituary | Insane | Music Video". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  26. ^ "Obituary | Evil Ways | Music Video". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]