Album Review
by SashaS

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  More on: Obituary

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Obituary: 'Frozen In Time' = gigantic LP
Obituary: 'Frozen In Time'
Obituary’s obscenely easy comeback

Facts: As hard as it is to fathom, Florida death metal pioneers, Obituary, owe a lot to melodic hard rock goofball Andrew WK. The band had been on indefinite hiatus since 1997 and by the middle of 2002 playing together again was the furthest thing on their minds. Singer John Tardy was working at a computer company, guitarist Trevor Peres was in Catastrophic, guitarist Allen West was in Lowbrow, bassist Frank Watkins was hawking mortgages, and drummer Donald Tardy was playing live with Andrew WK.

Then, before an OzzFest gig in West Palm Beach, Andrew WK called John and Frank and invited them to play a few songs onstage with him. "We hooked up to practice a couple songs and we remembered how fun it was to play together," singing Tardy brother explains. "That's all it took. We ended up doing a couple shows that were really well received, and things just snowballed from there.”

In early 2004, Obituary finally decided to start working on their sixth studio record. Often, when bands haven't been together for years, writing sessions are initially strained or unproductive and it takes a while for the musicians to get back on their creative feet. Obituary had no such problem. "It was really like putting on an old pair of shoes,” Tardy continues. "It didn't seem like it had been six years at all, it was more like the blink of an eye. Some of us had longer beards than we used to have but everything felt the same. After about five minutes together, we were totally back at 100 percent."

Product: 'Frozen In Time' demonstrates with an absurd ease that Obituary have not lost any force and fortitude they had in the early '90s. Commencing with a mid-paced headbanger ‘Redneck Stomp’ that chugs away happily while you wait for a vocal to start - it doesn’t, with the track being faded out rather suddenly. ‘On the Floor’ follows with an sharp, senses-lashing riffs over monumental beats and bloodcurdling vocals before shifting into a bone-damaging breakdown; ‘Blindsided’ is infused with Celtic Frost-inspired classic groove for a relatively even ride until it arrives “just south of Hell”. The bobsleigh ride continues until the concluding ‘Lock Jaw’ starts with a slower-paced intro before hitting a high gear and getting chaotically faster until it ‘brakes’ for the breakdown in the middle.

There is a bridge to the Obituary’s past and some songs sound like they could have come off their 'Slowly We Rot' album, with others that might have found home on 'World Demise'. But, there is no cashing in on nostalgia here because the band is tuned into the future tense and plenty of tracks are different from their legacy. And, as the singer points out, “It's the heaviest thing we've ever done."

[More] Facts: Obituary considered titling the album after one of the album tracks, but decided that no single cut could adequately represent the album. They thought about naming it something that would reference to their reunification after seven long years. Finally, they decided they were best off with 'Frozen In Time'. “After six years of inactivity, it's like we awakened out of hibernation just as heavy as we were before. It was like our sound was frozen in time,” Tardy concludes. “This album isn't a new beginning, it's just what we've always done just newer and better.”

Epitaph: ‘Frozen In Time’ is more like ‘Dissolving [one’s defence] in Present’, with a mightiest of crunches.


Facts and quotations courtesy of Roadrunner/band’s press release.

Obituary’s album ‘Frozen In Time’ is released 18 July 2005 by Roadrunner