Obituary + Pest Control at The Asylum, Birmingham on 26th August 2023


When a band is called Pest Control, it gives you a pretty good indication of what is in store, and when said band arrive sporting Bolt Thrower and Judas Priest T-Shirts you know you are in for some darn good music. This Leeds-based combo serve up what’s promised and proceed to dish out a full-frontal sonic assault. The vocals are blistered and red raw, while the twin guitar attack ties the listener up in all sorts of knots. The City of Leeds has a big hardcore scene of present, and there’s definitely a touch of that infusing the band’s sound giving them a crossover vibe, but metal permeates, and Pest Control dish out a hefty dose. With the rhythm section beating out a military tattoo, their sound is volatile enough to spark some action in the pit, and with pint glasses and devil horns held on high, they get the ultimate seal of approval.

Pest Control

The word legendary is thrown about willy-nilly these days, so much so that it has lost its original meaning, but when it comes to Florida’s Obituary, it’s perfectly apt. With their groove laden sound, they have an approach all their very own, once you hear those low-tuned guitars and growling vocals, it can only be Obituary pouring from the speakers. Unlike many of their peers, they never courted controversy and this had the added benefit of bringing their songs to the fore, and when you’ve got tunes this good, that’s exactly where they should be. Therefore, there’s a certain amount of tension crackling the air as we await the band, and it is only increased when the stage is bathed in blood red and the band appear and crank out the irresistible riff to ‘Redneck Stomp’. Like a hillbilly drunk on moonshine, it gets up close and personal, and becomes hard to ignore. It’s a crushing instrumental, and one that is very mosh pit conducive and causes many in the pit to lose their shit (but in the best possible way) and the floor becomes a seething mass of flailing arms and bobbing heads. When vocalist Donald Tardy appears for next track ‘Sentence Day’ things really get interesting, and the general level of insanity is raised a few notches when his trademark growls fill the venue. If their music wasn’t enough to floor you, then Obituary also make an intense visual spectacle with the man-mountain that is bassist Terry Butler laying down a solid beat, and lead guitarist Kerry Andrews unleashing some mesmerising, spidery solos. The rest of the group get the follicles flying, and their energy is highly contagious meaning that this is one show that you become part of, and not just observe.


Over a third of tonight’s set is culled from the bands most recent album, Dying Of Everything, but it’s such a great album that found the band in the very best of form, that it is certainly no hardship. ‘The Wrong Time’ and ‘Barely Alive’ (both from that album) make the perfect one-two punch, and they are delivered with a force that could floor even the most hardened fan. However, there’s plenty of room to explore the band’s extensive discography and we are treated to ‘A Lesson In Vengeance’ (from 2017’s Obituary) and ‘Slow Death’ (Frozen In Time, 2015). It’s the title track from their latest record that brings the set to a cataclysmic conclusion, but the band return for a well-deserved encore and take us back to their genesis on ‘Slowly We Rot’ which sends all home happy. Death metal doesn’t get much better, or more brutal, than this.

Obituary Set List:

Obituary (John Tardy)
  1. Redneck Stomp
  2. Sentence Day
  3. A Lesson In Vengeance
  4. Visions In My Head
  5. The Wrong Time
  6. Barely Alive
  7. Slow Death
  8. Find The Arise
  9. My Will To Live
  10. Chopped In Half/Turned Inside Out
  11. War
  12. Dying Of Everything
  13. Slowly We Rot