Originally written by Ramar Pittance
Like a lot of metal fans my age, I heard most of my keystone albums after their creators stopped creating. So, there’s this disconnect between myself and many of the bands I love due to a lack of context. I bought my Death and Obituary albums in shopping malls or off the Internet on the recommendation of people who actually had been there. My reaction to the great albums I’ve heard has been that of satisfied confirmation. “People were right, this band did kick ass.” Past tense. For many like me, the return of Obituary is the a chance to affirm the excellence of one of the greatest death metal bands of all time in the present tense.
This album offers more than just nostalgia, though. I don’t like throwback albums, and I wouldn’t recommend you buy one beyond the Bloodbath stuff. Frozen In Time predates the current death metal arms race into banality not out of admiration for the concept, but because they simply aren’t aware of any other way. Basically, Obituary is the fat white guy with cutoff jean shorts and high top Chuck Taylors that walks onto the basketball court and donkey punches the guy in the Air Jordans before cooling down with six pack of MGD. It’s not exactly elegant, but this is what the crowd wants. The songs still consist of three or four elementary power-chord driven riff sets delivered by sadistically overdriven guitars and a fully accented bass. Amazingly, John Tardy still sounds like he’s getting bamboo shoots shoved up his finger nails while being forced to watch his most beloved family member fellate Michael Clarke Duncan. WHAYYYIIIIE!!! NOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHOOOOO!!!!
The songs themselves are structurally similar to what most consider “post-classic” Obituary. The opener “Redneck Stomp” and “Blindsided” are your typical World Demise meat and potatoes — lurching and slightly overdrawn, but still remarkably tight. Other tracks, like “Stamp Alone” and “Insane,” are reminiscent of the days when Obituary were still tossing Morbid Tales in the grinder with Seven Churches and cranking the distortion.
And, there’s no catch! That’s actually what the album sounds like. After almost a decade of non-contribution, Obituary still sounds like Obituary. If you never thought Obituary were any good, then you probably won’t find their consistency very impressive. And, you probably shouldn’t listen to this album. Even if you love this band, chances are you’ve already got two copies of this album, just with different cover art. But those still intrigued by the trademark Obituary sound will be nothing but satisfied with Frozen in Time.