Review Summary: The End Complete: The Remix
After looking through Sputnik for a while, it came to my attention that one album had criminally not recieved a review, for whatever reason. This album is Floridian death metal band Obituary's 2005 comeback release, Frozen In Time, a collection of 10 pure death metal tracks done as only Obituary know how to do. Clocking in at 34:16, this album is straight to the point, and never under the pretension of being any other form of music. Obituary know what to do with this genre, having released genre shaper The End Complete and Slowly We Rot, but there was some debate as to whether Frozen In Time lives up to these.
The short answer would be that it does, but only to some extent. Some of the tracks found on this recording are nothing short of perfection. The riffs are as tight as we have come to expect from Obituary, being heavy, but still simplistic. The solo work is very well done, and John Tardy is still the monster he has always been behind the microphone. The band are largely as good as they have always been. However, the fault comes in the relevancy.
The band has lost their period of being relevant. They had their big album, that sold a *** load of copies and became iconic in the genre. They have had their moment of glory. And now they are trying to replicate that winning formula that came 10 years previous, and it just feels too forced. There are some absolutely killer tracks on here, but they all come off as just sounding a rip off of The End Complete.
Redneck Stomp is a slight deviation from this formula, being an instrumental only introduction to the album, with crushing riffs and bruising drumming. This is a song that is recommended for anyone beginning to learn death metal guitar and bass, as it keeps a solid groove, without ever being too technical. It really does work as a way to kick off this album in a brutal manner.
Lockjaw is another song that really is quality, and an Obituary classic. Opening with a nice bit of drumming, and a cool lead squeal over the top, this has riffs that will take your face off, and the usual monsterous vocals from John Tardy, and everything comes off sounding fully fledged and, above all, fun to listen to and just bang your head to in Obituary's signature slower, groovy style they are known for. The riff work to this is the tightest off of the album, and it all flows along very nicely.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album refrains from trying anything innovative whatsoever. It all sounds like a rehash of earlier material. Blindsided and Mindset are snooze inducing, boring songs that may well be the worst in the bands entire category, Denied and Slow Death are complete Cause Of Death rip offs, and the rest are just flat and monotonous. Unfortunately, Obituary really did *** themselves over with this album.
I recognise that that is not a lot about the songs themselves, but there really is not a lot to say. Every song sounds completely the same, with nothing different about them whatsoever. They are boring, unremarkable songs that sound like the band just trying too hard to go back to their previous work, and failing so badly it is unbelievable.
The production on this album is another point of interest. Or rather, lack of interest. The production is about as flat and unweighted as possible. Riffs that would usually take your throat out now sound flat and one dimensional, which may well be one of the major problems with this compared to their past works. When compared to their earlier albums, the production really has taken a dive.
This is one of the bands weaker efforts, but is still fairly listenable, but only once in a while. The songs are, for the most part, rehashes of older songs, so i am proposing a new title for this album. The End Complete II. Had this been released earlier, a higher score would be in order, but for the period it was released in, this is a 3/5