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Bloodbath: Grand Morbid Funeral

Swedish supergroup Bloodbath have been around for quite some time in various incarnations delivering their homage to classic Swedish death metal. Names like Dan Swano, Mikael Akerfeldt, and Peter Tagtgren, all extreme metal legends, have played important roles in the past, but for their first album in six years, the remaining members Jonas Renske (bass), Anders 'Blakkheim' Nystrom (guitars, backing vocals), Martin Axenrot (drums), and Per 'Sodomizer' Eriksson (guitars) were once again in need of a frontman. Enter Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost, an equally legendary figure who at first might seem like an odd choice (he hasn't utilized growls in many years with Paradise Lost), but he fits like a comfortable glove here on their latest release Grand Morbid Funeral.

With members that make the majority of their living in bands such as Katatonia, Opeth, and Paradise Lost, you just know they are fully aware of the roots of extreme metal, and that's always been the point of this little project. Grand Morbid Funeral is old school from start to finish, whether it be raging slabs of death as on "Total Death Exhumed", the furious onslaught of "Famine of God's Word", or the slow, near doom of "Church of Vastitas". For a guy who hasn't sung (or spewed!) growls in many years, Holmes has done a fine job here, his guttural grunts & bellows stab in and out of the mix amid a pummeling attack of relentless drumming from Axenrot and plenty of classic styled riffing from the guitar of Nystrom & Eriksson. "Beyond Cremation" features some of the albums most effective riffs (doesn't get any more old school than this!), and some of the brooding, gothic laden atmosphere of Holmes' main band Paradise Lost creeps in on the menacing title track.

Ghoulish horror lyrical imagery as you would expect abounds here on Grand Morbid Funeral, as well as the standard muddy production that we've come to expect from Bloodbath, so in many ways, not a ton of surprises here other than the unexpected arrival of Holmes. As I mentioned earlier, he's a welcome addition and helps the band continue doing what they do best. Whether the singer becomes a long term member remains to be seen, but for now Bloodbath are once again firing on all cylinders again and that in itself is a very good thing.

Track Listing
1. Let the Stillborn come to Me
2. Total Death Exhumed
3. Anne
4. Church of Vastitas
5. Famine of God's word
6. Mental abortion
7. Beyond Cremation
8. His Infernal Necropsy
9. Unite in Pain
10. My Torturer
11. Grand Morbid Funeral

Added: November 30th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2431
Language: english

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