Swedish death metal veterans put the "super" in supergroup.
Photo by Ester Segarra
Bloodbath first oozed onto the scene back in 2000, billed as the death-doom side supergroup to end all death-doom supergroups (yes, there are more than one). As the story goes, Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia, October Tide), Blakkheim (Katatonia, Diabolical Masquerade), and Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, literally every other band that's ever set foot in Sweden) were all sitting around drinking one night and decided that they wanted to form a band that combined their shared love of vintage Entombed and classic Florida death metal. The project got a solid response with its first two releases, but the rousing success of their 2004 sophomore album, Nightmares Made Flesh, really got the ball rolling with the insanely catchy gore-groove of "Eaten." It's basically the catchiest death metal song ever recorded this side of "Where the Slime Lives." Seriously, listen to it once then try to get that riff out of your head. YOU CAN'T. It is tough as shit and contains the phrase "suck my guts and lick my heart." Game over.
Anyway, there was enough buzz around this record to coax the Bloodbath dudes out of their respective death metal man caves and haul their pale Swedish buns up onstage to perform at Wacken 2005. Errant vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt even returned to lord over the vocal mic, lending his sorely-missed booming growl to the proceedings. It ruled:
After that, the band reconfigured its lineup a bit and carried on recording satisfying cuts of burly, groovy death for 2008's The Fathomless Mastery. The project then lay more or less dormant until an announcement came earlier this year that not only had Bloodbath resurrected itself, Paradise Lost vocalist Nick Holmes had been invited aboard to wrangle the mic. The resulting album, Grand Morbid Funeral, is both slower and more savage than their past material. It sounds as though Holmes has been a total downer in the best possible way, and the guest appearances from Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Florida kings Autopsy sure as hell don't hurt.
Grand Morbid Funeral is out 11/18 on Peaceville Records. The track "Church of Vastitas" surges into the aferlife with a stately doom riff then dives headfirst into a hellish pit of rotting death. Check out the Ash Pears-directed new video for it here.
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