The Fathomless Mastery

Written by: EW on 26/10/2008 17:10:03

Swedish death metal supergroup Bloodbath have returned with their 3rd LP "The Fathomless Mastery" and it's intention to bring back dirty, heavy old-school DM from those (mostly other Swedish bands) that have thought our death metal is meant to be nice and clean and accessible to all. No I say! Death Metal is a firm middle finger to those who want subtlety and pleasantries in their music; a belief Bloodbath have not wavered from and will foreseeably never do so. Peculiarly, given that Bloodbath have long been lauded for being as Swedish as an IKEA salesman with a penchant for Abba, they actually sound more American than ever, and the result is the best Bloodbath album yet.

By American sounding I clearly mean Morbid Angel sounding as at times during "The Fathomless Mastery" one could easily believe they are hearing content from the long-awaited new 'I' album from the legendary Floridians. "Mock The Cross" I assume is actually a cover of a Morbid Angel tune from the "Covenant"/ "Domination" era that never made it on to either those records; that or Bloodbath have no shame of hiding whom has influenced their decision to rock out from their day jobs involved in Opeth and Katatonia (mainly). This MA similarity is amplified through Mikael Åkerfeldt's throaty growls showing severe derivation from Mr. David Vincent himself as well as the groove and blast that forms the basis of every track bar none. Much like MA and Incantation, Bloodbath know that guitar talent, which they obviously possess by the bucketload, can be used to create evil and heavy sounding DM that doesn't have to run the route of blasting incessantly for Satan, shown through "Process Of Disillumination" and "Mock The Cross". The always enjoyable art of blasting is of course is well presented elsewhere though - "Treasonous" baring a leading BM riff that wouldn't have been out of place on Marduk's brutal classic "Nightwing" and in "Drink From The Cup Of Heresy" some severe grinding that reminds one of old Entombed and Dismember (ok, so it's not all American-sounding!)

Up until now I had always been skeptical that had Bloodbath been a mere 'group' rather than 'supergroup' their popularity would be considerably smaller than has proven to be. Since the visceral brutality of debut EP "Breeding Death" in 2000 the two following LP's I thought had been so-so affairs: containing some great tunes ("Eaten" and "Outnumbering The Day" the pick of the lot) buried amongst many more standard death metal offerings. "The Fathomless Mastery" will show anyone though that Bloodbath can stand on their own two feet without having to ask "oh yeh, that brutal band Mikael Åkerfeldt's in right?” It's never going to be album of the year stuff but for unashamed backwards viewing this is a real treat.

Download: Mock The Cross, Hades Rising, Treasonous
For The Fans Of: Opeth, Morbid Angel, Marduk, Edge Of Sanity
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 06.10.08
Peaceville Records
Provided by Target ApS

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