Obituary Frozen in Time

After some select one-off shows, Florida death metal founders Obituary have broken their eight-year hiatus with Frozen in Time, the truest titled reunion album of all. Amazingly enough, the band still sound like they always have, thanks to the production team of long-time engineer Mark Prator and now executive producer Scott Burns. Beginning their return trek to greatness with the unexpected instrumental "Redneck Stomp,” the band leap back into the pit with the furious "On the Floor,” with the slower choruses recalling the higher points of 1997’s Back from the Dead. The first single "Insane” is Obituary at their pervicacious best — intro growls and metronomic kick drums from the Tardy brothers; steely, throbbing riffage from Peres and Watkins; and a brief, dive-bombing solo from West in the centre of the chaos. Fans will hear many classic rhythms in the new material, as a few tracks are unreservedly reminiscent of their predecessors: the intro of "Back Inside” sounds like "Sickness” from 1993’s The End Complete; the chordal repetition in "Blindsided” and the upper tom-tom work in "Slow Death” parallel "Solid State” and the title track, respectively, from 1994’s World Demise; and the pacing of "Lockjaw” nearly matches that of the title track from 1990’s Cause of Death. Though some fans will naturally declare it’s all been done before, Obituary deserve major props for minimal experimentation over their career. Though it certainly doesn’t reinvent the band, Frozen in Time isn’t simply another album hastily cranked out for tour support, but an unyielding yet retrospective entry in Obituary’s already legendary canon. (Roadrunner)