Released: 2004, Century Media
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The Swedish all star band Bloodbath is back with their second full length album NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH. This follows up on the heels of their stunning debut album from 2002 RESURRECTION THROUGH CARNAGE. There have been some member changes since 2002. Former vocalist Micke Åkerfeldt (Opeth) has left and is replaced by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain). The rhythm section has gone through some changes as well. Dan Swanö, who played the drums before, now handles guitar and the new drummer is Martin Axenrot (Witchery, Satanic Slaughter). All these member changes are supposed to make it easier for the band to come out and play live and to gain some fresh ideas into the band.
According to the info provided to me with this CD, Bloodbath described as a combination old school Swedish death metal and American style death metal. I question that description though. I would call it old school Swedish death metal mixed with the newer European death metal. In other words, this is very technical and includes a lot of calmer parts compared to the previous album. It’s still as aggressive, brutal and heavy as before though. No doubt about that. It seems like the guys have thought more about song structures now. Not that the debut was bad, but that one felt more like a tribute to old school Swedish death metal than this and with this album it feels like Bloodbath is here to stay.
I don’t think that fans of the debut are going to be disappointed when they hear this. It feels like a natural development in the right direction. If you are expecting Bloodbath to sound like the do on the debut album, you’re deadly wrong though.
This time the band has traveled to Örebro to record at Fascination Street (Katatonia, Lambretta, Vomitory) and to use Jens Bogren as a producer. Bogren has made a very varied production that contains both pieces of Swedish old school death metal and also a more updated death metal soundscape for the 21st century. It still sounds aggressive, brutal and hard just like it should though. NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH features twelve tracks of pure death metal. I don’t have any info on who wrote the lyrics and music because, as always, I only have a promo copy.
Tägtgren impresses big time on lead vocals. Why shouldn’t he though, he’s one of the most experienced musicians and producers in the Swedish metal world today. Axenrot is both fast and technical behind the drums, Swanö and Nyström attack with some really heavy and hard guitar play.
There isn’t much to complain about here and if you are a fan of death metal this album HAS to be a part of you collection. I really hope that they can work a bit faster and harder on the forthcoming album so we don’t have to wait two years as we did for this album. We should all hope and pray that they are headed out on tour real soon so we have a chance to see these modern legends alive and kicking on stage.