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January 2009
Released: 2008, Peaceville
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Mr. Rock

The Swedish death machine is back!

On this, they’re third full length disc, Bloodbath continue to pay homage to classic death metal, while pushing the genre forward with great songs, passionate playing, and top notch production. Mikael Åkerfeldt, who returns after Peter Tatgren handled the vocals on disc 2, leads his team of soldiers to the outer realms of death. Without a doubt, Åkerfeldt is one of the best death metal vocalists ever, that low, deep, guttural hellbeast sound is terrifying and creepy, fitting each song perfectly. He was missed on their second disc, though Tatgren did do an admirable job. The guitar duo of Nyström and Eriksson are in top form here, playing exactly what each song requires. The guitar sound is just killer! Add to that sound, the machine gun drumming of Axe, and the rock solid bass of Renkse, and you’ve got a brain-numbing listening experience.

“At The Behest Of Their Death” and “Process Of Disillumination” are about as solid as they come, kicking things off in amazing fashion. Definitely a sign of things to come…so beware! Still hitting you over the head like a sledge hammer, the band hold nothing back. Lyrically, the hatred is front and center with tunes like “Mock The Cross”, “Slaughtering The Will To Live”, and “Devouring The Feeble”, each song spewing venom.

One thing that is missing from this disc though is that stand out song. You know, the kind that will turn into a classic (“Like Fire”, “So You Die”, “Ways To The Grave” off their first disc) and will be spoken of for years to come. Though the songs here are great, each one a killer in its own way, there is no song that will push this disc into the stratosphere. The band’s first disc had a number of tunes that are destined to be classic, and if one or two on THE FATHOMLESS MASTERY were like that, the disc would rate a definite 5 (“Mock the Cross” does come close though). It just needs that 1 absolute killer classic to push this disc to the next level.

Bloodbath, though starting out as a tribute to classic death metal, has evolved into a genre-leading force. While still paying homage to the originators, they prove that pushing the limits can only add to creativity. Another stellar disc.

GEMS: “Mock The Cross”, “Earthrot”, “At The Behest Of Their Death”, “Slaughtering The Will To Live”
Track Listing

1. “At The Behest Of Their Death” 3:40
2. “Process Of Disillumination” 3:09
3. “Slaughtering The Will To Live” 3:37
4. “Mock The Cross” 4:02
5. “Treasonous” 4:13
6. “Iesous” 3:33
7. “Drink From The Cup Of Heresy” 3:36
8. “Devouring The Feeble” 3:11
9. “Earthrot” 3:19
10. “Hades Rising” 5:05
11. “Wretched Human Mirror” 4:12


Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals
Anders 'Blakkheim' Nyström – guitar
Per 'Sodomizer' Eriksson – guitar
Jonas Renkse – bass
Martin 'Axe' Axenrot - drums

Next review: » Bloodbath - Unblessing the Purity
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