The End Complete/World Demise

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As part of its 1998 Obituary reissue campaign, Roadrunner released not only the albums themselves but also a pair of two-fers: Slowly We Rot/Cause of Death and The End Complete/World Demise. These two-fers feature not only the remastered sound of the reissues but also the same bonus tracks. Plus, they're quite a bargain relative to buying the albums individually. On the downside, you're stuck with typically unappealing two-fer artwork, and of course, you're stuck with two albums rather than one. This latter issue isn't such a big deal with these Obituary reissues because the partnered albums go together well. In the case of The End Complete/World Demise, you get the band's third and fourth albums, from 1992 and 1994, respectively. The former is a reunion album of sorts as lead guitarist Allen West returns to the fold after being absent for Cause of Death, and the band pulls together for what many consider the definitive Obituary album. Everything is excellent here: the vocals, the music, the songs, and for the first time, the production -- the whole package. Ask a number of fans, and many will tell you that this was the band's peak. Which of course means that many consider World Demise to be a step downward, and that would be an accurate assessment. By and large, it's more of the same, except the band doesn't seem quite as inspired as before and there's a very slight undercurrent of commercialization. After all, death metal was hitting its peak around this time, and leading bands like Entombed and Carcass were streamlining their sound (not necessarily in a bad way, either), so it's not exactly a surprise that Obituary were streamlining their sound a bit here, too. And also, time would reveal the disenchantment the band was experiencing around this time, for World Demise would be the last Obituary album for several years. So if the Slowly We Rot/Cause of Death two-fer showcases the band's evolution, this one showcases Obituary's pinnacle and subsequent descent. As such, it's not that necessary of a collection. Unless you're an Obituary fanatic and need their entire catalog, you're probably better off sticking with their first three albums and forgoing World Demise. Still, this two-fer costs only a bit more than The End Complete alone, so you might consider getting the most value for your money. Either way, this is first-rate death metal from the style's peak era. Hard to go wrong here if this is your bag.

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