Released: 2004, Scarecrow/Century Media
Reviewer: El Cid
Ok… First the line-up changes. I’m sure that off the bat a good number of you guys out there have already ragged about Peter Tägtren taking over in the lead vocals department for this band, right? Right. Michael Akerfeldt was doing a fine job, why change? One of the old basics, don’t fix what isn’t broken. I completely agree with this assessment BUT it must be noted that the music has also changed, maybe a new vocalist was fitting. Other than that, the band went from a four piece to a five piece outfit with the addition of Martin Axerot behind the drum set and relocation of Swedish mastermind Dan Swanö in the Guitar and bass portions of the ensemble. As I popped this one in the player I wasn’t sure about the changes made to a band that worked just fine, but admittedly I was very eager to have a listen to Swanö’s guitar exploits.
Now, as soon as NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH started I was sure the band’s old sound had been completely modified. Gone is the old school style of Death Metal that knocked me off my chair in BREEDING DEATH and had been further displayed in RESSURECTION THRHOUGH CARNAGE. This third offering from Bloodbath is much more on the modern side of Death Metal and though I’d normally be inclined to bring up Tägtren’s hand in the direction the band is taking, I can’t imagine that the creative control would be in anyone else’s hands that Dan Swanö’s. Sure enough, as soon as the first track was over, I was sure this was completely his doing. The blastbeats, the lead guitar, the solos, everything is reminiscent of a blend between progressive and death metal.
As far as production is concerned, I’m sure all of you who know a little about this matter are aware that with Swanö and Tägtren in the mix, production is the last thing that would worry you. After the first listen, I can honestly say that The drumming is very much to my liking, the handling of the axe is inventive and very appealing and finally, the vocal delivery is not better than Akerfeldt’s but just different. Different style, for different music and it fits just fine in NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH.
As a curious fact, remember that news story going around a while ago about a german cannibal who solicited his meal by mail and some dumbass actually replied and actually served himself as dinner? Sure you do, they both ate the guy’s wang and stuff! Well the song “Eaten” will bring back memories and a shudder.
In all, I don’t think I could be happier with Bloodbath as it is. Sure, I love the Retro elements in BREEDING DEATH and RESSURECTION THROUGH CARNAGE, but I think we were all well aware of the fact that a band in the year 2005 doesn’t have many places to go to musically if they are still playing like it was the late 80s and early 90s… Keep up the good work.
Choice Cuts: “Eaten” ****, “Brave New Hell” ****