Thawing out from hibernation, Obituary return with new album 'Frozen In Time'.
Obituary last played together in 1997 and during that time, it seemed that the band had split for good as the members separated and parted ways taking up roles on other bands or even different careers all together. However, one invitation from Andrew WK to John Tardy (singer) and Frank Watkins (bassist) to jam together with Donald Tardy, drummer for Andrew WK who had previously drummed for Obituary, was all it took to get the band back on their feet. After a few shows to kick start their return, they recorded their crushing new release 'Frozen In Time'.
Usually after years of inactivity, you would expect a band's style to stagnate and it may take many months for a band to get back into the swing of things but, for Obituary there was no such obstacle in their way. Just like reuniting your feet with a pair of very old and comfortable shoes, Obituary found their hold straight away and were producing new material for 'Frozen In Time' like wildfire. 'Frozen In Time' represents a new era for Obituary and one listen to this brand new offering of death metal delight is enough to make it clear that Obituary still have the same force and fortitude that they always have but with something new and improved added to the mix, creating a sound that is quite simply bone chilling.
'Redneck Stomp' opens with crushing riffs that stomp and march down their rhythms with a force that crushes and constricts the very core of the listeners ear drums and pulling them into it's addictive rhythm. This largely repetitive instrumental introduction paves the way for greater and far heavier fare with 'On The Floor'. 'On The Floor' shoves blood curdling and bone splintering vocals, churning riffs and mechanical sounding beats into the blender and mixes them furiously to create an intoxicating and ear shattering breakdown of pure death metal bliss. The lyrics while grating and typically death metal, are also rather clear making the lyrical side of the chaos easier to digest and thus, giving a sense of intonation and melodic skill to the music. The electrifying solo paves the way for a slower, repetitive rhythm that closes the track with an unstoppable force.
'Insane' sounds exactly as the track's name would suggest with constantly changing time signatures and explosive, scattered guitaring that shape-shifts with the rhythm to create a sheer sense of insecurity that is completely brain-frying. Complimented by the screaming and desperate vocals, this track's random and shape-shifting qualities make it interesting to listen to and really do show off the experience of the band to an electrifying and ear shattering level.
'Blindsided' kicks off into a slow and mysteriously enchanting groove that entices like the Devil's dance. With perfect synchronisation, the guitars and vocals follow the gentle dance like swing and serenade the listener in true melodic death metal style. Explosive riffs and perfect collaboration between guitarist and drummer steal the show here and with perfect ascending melodies that twist and fall between each other while the vocals glide gracefully over the top, it is plain to see that this track is among the masterpieces of this album.
'Stand Alone' sees a bone chilling display of pure guitaring skill with a series of seriously fast and melodic riffs that crash and squeal up and down it's melodic limits, getting this fast paced track off to an adrenaline filled start. There is also perfect contrast between this band's slower, march-like style and it's racy, blood curdling displays of speed as they swing and shift in and out of one another. The vocals are certainly aggressive and hold a hint of raging insanity that is just waiting to leap put and strangle all within its reach. The following track 'Slow Death' is similar in it's assault but it is the collaboration of raging guitaring and thunderous use of double bass drumming that really makes this track stand out from the others. The beats are continuous and pulsate constantly like a giant beating heart, the remaining drums are used to create a rhythm reminiscent of the beating of the war drums and hence, it gives this piece and extremely tense but exhilarating mood.
It is clear to see that this album is the creation of a band that should be hailed as pure genius, for such a result after years of no practise and only a short time with which to put together such a delicious album should be credited as such. Keeping the good of their old material in the blend and experimenting with new ideas has created a new kind of death metal and style for Obituary, lending them a new foothold in the industry should they wish to continue their efforts. This isn't really a fresh start but really an improvement on the already passionate inferno of music that Obituary creates.
It is certainly an album that will stand the test of time for a long while and sets out to prove that Obituary will go far with their new found approach to their music.