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Obituary - Frozen Alive DVD

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 @ 6:58 PM


MVD Video Distributors

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Despite a bit of turbulence — a near split with guitarist Alan West after some spotty European festival shows where he’d been partying a bit too hard and a break with longtime label Roadrunner — the reunion of Florida’s Obituary was a largely triumphant affair. After a seven-year hiatus, the quintet unleashed a rock-solid comeback album, Frozen in Time, in 2005, toured extensively here and abroad and already are talking about a new album.

The Frozen Alive DVD essentially serves as a culmination to the reunion, and provides a fitting souvenir for the effort. Recorded in Poland at the tail end of the Frozen In Time touring cycle, Alive finds Obituary every bit the well-oiled death metal machine they were back in the day — and not one that needs to rely on cheap theatrics or show-boating to get the job done.

Indeed, despite ample the opportunities presented by higher-profile festival appearances, Alive was filmed at a relatively low-key club show in Warsaw — there’s no pyro, special effects or overwrought lighting set-ups. It’s just the band and about a thousand Poles getting their brains beat in.

Tight, brutal and brimming with the dynamism that always set them apart from the herd, Obituary can still kill with the best of ‘em. Though hardly the standard for extremity they were when “Florida death metal” reared its hideous head 20 years ago — given what followed in its wake — John Tardy’s ghastly howl and West/Trevor Peres’ mammoth, lock-step riffing remain horrifyingly heavy, with thick, brooding oldies “Chopped In Half” and “Turned Inside Out” and the newer “Insane” and “Back Inside” doled out with equal menace.

The 23-track set captured here provides a nice mix of material, going all the way back to the old Xecutioner nugget “Find The Arise” to a half-dozen tracks from Frozen In Time, and features the deft ebb and flow from the up-tempo likes of “Back to One” to the creepy-crawly “Dying” of a veteran band at the top of their game.

The DVD’s special features are kind of a mixed bag, with a smattering of largely sedate backstage footage, a couple bonus videos (“Insane” and “On The Floor”), a tedious drum solo — is there any other kind? — from Donald Tardy and two somewhat repetitive interview segments conducted by a thickly accented Polish journalist. But the concert footage is top-notch and enormously satisfying — and, better yet, the sound is concussively clear. And that’s what really counts.

*** ½

Visit the KNAC.COM More Store and buy your copy of Frozen Alive
And buy Frozen In Time


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