“What the hell happened to our planet?”

That’s the question Obituary drummer Donald Tardy asked himself at the height of the pandemic. The answer became the title for the Floridian death metal masters’ 11th album. “Dying Of Everything seems like a proper name for this point in history,” he says. “I think it just fits with what everybody has been going through these last two years.”

Like everyone else, Obituary spent a lot of time at home during the pandemic. Tardy and his brother John (vocals) used the enforced downtime to upgrade their own Redneck Studios, where they self-produced Dying Of Everything and the four previous Obituary albums. “We had so much time to do it because it was the middle of Covid and everything was shut down,” Donald says. “But writing-wise, we’re in our groove and that really hasn’t changed much.”

It's true: Dying Of Everything destroys in the time-honored tradition of early Obituary classics Slowly We Rot and Cause of Death while maintaining the killer studio sound that the band has been perfecting since 2007’s monstrous Xecutioner’s Return. “When we were going into Morrisound back in the ’80s and early ’90s, we wanted to try every effect we could come up with,” John Tardy recalls. “Nowadays, we do it ourselves and there’s not a single effect on Trevor’s guitar. Plus, we’ve got beer cans piled high up off the ground. It’s great.”

When the Tardy brothers and their bandmates—guitarist Trevor Peres, bassist Terry Butler and guitarist Ken Andrews—finished tracking the album, they sent it off to Full Force Studio in New York, where Joe Cincotta conjured a top-shelf mix. “Joe really worked his magic,” Donald says. “He did a killer job on this new album.”

You can hear the results on lead single “The Wrong Time” which boasts a slamming mid-tempo groove. “We have some blazing fast songs on this record compared to past albums, but we wanted the first single to really represent what Obituary is,” Donald says. “We wanted the meat and potatoes, a song that’s really gonna grab people’s attention.”

Meanwhile, the title track boasts punishing riffs and songwriting by Ken Andrews. “Ken wrote two songs for the last album, but one of them was used for the Decibel flexi disc we put out, so it wasn’t on the record,” Donald explains. “But he’s got two songs on this one—‘Dying of Everything’ and ‘Torn Apart.’ You can really hear his thrash metal background on the title track.”

“It’s a fun song,” John enthuses. “It’s a little different. We try to stay Obituary, but you have to branch out a little on every album to show some type of progress or difference.”

The album’s third single, “My Will To Live,” is a total skull-crusher that will be released with a lyric video. “I don’t try to make full stories or sense out of my lyrics,” John explains. “I really like to just dial into the heavy guitar tones and the drumbeats and make it as heavy as I can. Most of my lyrics don’t have some big life-pondering message. I just try to make sayings that stick with you, that hopefully you can hum throughout the day.”

Like just about every album in Obituary’s vast catalog, Dying Of Everything is instantly memorable. “It’s easy listening,” John says. “You can just enjoy it without having to think too much about it. But when you go back and listen again, you hear more things each time.”

It’s a skill that Obituary have only improved upon over the years. “We’re like a fine wine,” Donald says with a laugh. “It sounds stupid, but it’s true. We’re honing our skills as musicians individually and as a band. But when it comes to songwriting we’ve always said, ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’ We’ll let other bands get all technical with 6,000 riffs in one song. We like to keep it grooving.”

Dying Of Everything features cover art by Mariusz Lewandowski, the Polish painter whose work has appeared on albums by Bell Witch, Psycroptic and Abigail Williams. He died unexpectedly in 2022. “He did a fantastic job on the artwork, but he passed away not long after he did our album cover,” John reveals. “I think our cover art might’ve been the last thing he did.”

It’s unusual for a band that’s been around since the ’80s to be doing some of their best work in the 2020s, but that’s exactly what Obituary have done on Dying Of Everything. “I think it comes down to passion,” John offers. “I say this all the time, but if something’s not fun, I’m not gonna do it. And we’re having more fun than ever.”