After several long years, Floridian death metal legends Obituary return with an album which has my vote for one of the year’s best metal releases.
Now, since this is their first record in years, I think it’s pretty obvious that some of “Frozen In Time” is going to sound sort similar to past albums. This is a comeback album, and comeback albums should doubtlessly be great, so it’s wise of the band to stick to what they know best. It’s as the old cliche goes: if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it! Think about it: do you listen to a comeback album and think “dang, it’s good to have these guys back?” Or do you wish they would have made an experimental album, which isn’t guaranteed to be great?
Plus, few albums sound like this one anymore, because few bands sound as well as they did back when they first formed. Isn’t it kind of refreshing to hear a C.D. from a band that hasn’t attempted to latch on to a more popular genre, like nu-metal or metalcore? And finally, I don’t see how anyone can complain about this album when it sounds this great!
The vocals are good and the musicianship is top-notch. The instrumental album opener, “Redneck Stomp,” is a personal favorite of mine, but track three, “Insane,” with propulsive, occasionally rhythmic riffs, might be another high point of the album. And it’s just as easy to like “Blindsided,” which has a stomping, churning main riff, and the blistering, old-school Sepultura-esque “Back Inside.” Other standout tracks include the stop-start, almost cascading riffs of “Slow Death,” and the album ending “Lockjaw,” which has a catchy beat and chugging, running guitar work.
I like this album best when its pace is fast, and even when it slows down a bit, it sounds fine. Plus, though there are a few slow songs to break up the monotony (like track six, “Mindset”), the album’s pace picks back up for the very next track and the rest of the album.
The bottom line is from front to back, “Frozen In Time” is a very enjoyable, excellent listen. This is half an hour of good, grooving, riff-heavy metal. Old school, nostalgic Obituary fans and newcomers alike should gladly cough up the money for this C.D.