Bloodbath
The Arrow of Satan is Drawn

The death metal scene was abuzz when Paradise Lost‘s Nick Holmes was announced as the new vocalist for Swedish Death metal super group Bloodbath.. The resultant album, The Grand Morbid Funeral was solid, but certainly nothing compared to the band’s first two Akerfeldt and Peter Tagtgren fronted, classic releases.

Well, Holmes is back, and is still the weak link, though it’s great to hear still growling again- he just lacks the sheer power and authority of his predecessors-  It also is not helping that the material and song writing on TAOSID drawn is the weakest of the band’s discography.

Yeah, I’m sorry to report that despite the expected killer, Sunlight/buzzsaw guitar tone, Nick Holmes and the veteran lineup, the album is just a bit flat and falls short the genre’s current leader, Entrails output as well as  some of 2018s releases from band  influenced by them like Gravestone or Demonical, and even second tier or new acts like Carnation and Organic, Angerot and Sentient Horror.

The album  is OK, and has a few decent moments but like the last album and even dating back to 2008s highly anticipated return, The Fathomless Mastery, there simply isn’t that sure fire go to riff or song like say “Like Fire”, “Cry My Name” or “Eaten”that identifies the album and band in 2018.

There are some decent Swed-death riffs and gallops like “Bloodicide” or “Morbid Antichrist” and even some more fun, dare I say crusty/punk riffs as heard on “Deader”, “Warhead Ritual” or closer, the wonderfully titled  “Chainsaw Lullaby”, but they seem a tad out of place.  A couple of numbers do  carry  little more menace and weight, befitting the bands legacy, such as “Levitator”, stern march of “Only the Dead Survive” or the mid paced chug of “March of the Defilers”, arguably the album’s best track.

When who your singer is makes more waves than the actual songs and album, it means the magic just might be gone, and I’m afraid that its  starting to look like the case for Bloodbath, who though remaining a revered fixture in the genre due to the early work, other bands have simply surpassed them at this point in their career no matter who the vocalist is.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 19th, 2018

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dave

    Still haven’t heard this whole album, but will surely be buying it soon. I’ll be a dissenting opinion and say that I thought “Grand Morbid Funeral” was the band’s best album.


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