Bloodbath
Grand Morbid Funeral


3.5
great

Review

by TalonsOfFire STAFF
November 26th, 2014 | 60 replies


Release Date: 11/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Swedish death metal supergroup gleefully pay homage to the genre in their murkiest and most consistent release yet.

Bloodbath has waited a lengthy six years to release a new full-length album, struggling to remain active after the second exit of vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt, originally from Opeth. Only this year did the remaining band members finally announce the identity of their new vocalist, having previously titillated fans of who it could be, even referring to him as a “legend.” The reveal of Nick Holmes from pioneering gothic metal band Paradise Lost filling the role sparked rumors among fans that Holmes hadn’t utilized death growls in years, and had possibly lost the ability to perform them. The first single and possibly the strongest track on the album, “Famine of God’s Word,” puts to rest any circulating doubts that Bloodbath couldn’t survive as a group. It maintained the band’s signature catchiness while still delivering on the furious riffs and signature osdm (old school death metal) muddy production that fans have come to expect.

After six years of little activity and increasing hype for what Bloodbath would do next, Grand Morbid Funeral thankfully lives up to expectations for a catchy and over-the-top death metal release hearkening back to the genre’s golden days. “Let The Stillborn Come to Me” is a midtempo rocker that sounds like it could come straight from 2004’s Nightmares Made Flesh. The album’s second single, “Church of Vastitas” is a decent, slow burning track that somewhat feels like a missed opportunity due to its repetitiveness and lack of especially interesting ideas within. Thankfully it’s one of the shorter songs and is sandwiched between two of the stronger tracks, “Anne” and “Famine of God’s Word,” both containing relentlessly apocalyptic guitar riffs and atmospheric leads throughout. The rhythm section rarely makes itself known, but provides a solid backdrop as usual.

Perhaps the most surprising element of Grand Morbid Funeral is a subtle, yet noticeable change in style. Bloodbath always relied on paying homage to old school death metal for comfortably familiar sounding guitar riffing and song structures, and has now relied on these influences even more. While never wholly original, the group always had a way of injecting their own creativity and identity into each release. The only real exception on Grand Morbid Funeral, “Necropsy,” is the most progressive the album gets. It starts the way you’d expect, until technical guitar riffing takes over while the drums blast away before leading into a slower, more atmospheric outro. Exceptions like this in each release have always made for a more interesting listen, but indulging in the genre’s expansions into more cerebral territory was never their mission. Avoiding a reliance on technicality or innovation, Bloodbath have focused more on staying true to the genre’s identity, creating the most gleefully rotten and filthy music they could while maintaining catchiness and showcasing as much tongue-in-cheek horror imagery as possible. Lyrical themes would, and still do, revolve around demonic possession, zombie plagues, and yes, even mutated sewer monsters.

Grand Morbid Funeral subtly shifts their image to emphasize the gothic and supernatural. Bloodbath is a band of nostalgia, and now including Paradise Lost in the ensemble of influences ends up working nicely and serves as a welcome change overall. Each member’s original bands are woven into the fabric of Bloodbath’s wide array of influences and characteristics, and Holme’s Paradise Lost fits in comfortably alongside the more exaggerated and over-the-top horror imagery. Bloodbath pull off being bleak and foreboding well enough, but letting loose and having fun has always been what they do best. “Unite In Pain” is a wonderful example of these strengths, beginning with one of the catchiest and most rollicking intros they’ve ever written. Devilish guitar leads follow, and Holmes gives the best vocal performance of the album. At this point any differences noted by his presence have been forgotten, as his guttural vocals buried in the mix have been contributing to the atmosphere just as they should, rounding off the band’s influences for another nostalgic and endlessly enjoyable trip down memory lane of one of the most over-the-top and extreme genres of metal, never letting up on the fun or intensity.



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user ratings (223)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
ExplosiveOranges CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
On a left hand path/Global fucking bloodbath...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


16810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Stream:



http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/11/17/exclusive-full-album-stream-bloodbaths-grand-morbid-funeral/



Constructive criticism welcome as always

Digging: Tame Impala - Currents B-Sides & Remixes

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Son of a bitch.

Crysis
Emeritus
November 25th 2014


17288 Comments


still have to listen to this but the vocals from the tracks that have been released are awful, which kinda killed it for me

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


16810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The vocals sound better as the album goes along, they really do fit in with the atmosphere even if they're not as monstrous as they have been on past albums.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


10178 Comments


"bandmembers"

two words lol

"harkening"

isn't it spelled "hearkening" or am I wrong?

Great review, pos'd

Btw when I saw that this band has a song called "Let The Stillborn Come To Me" I happened to be listened to "The Stillborn One" by Necrophagist who also have another song involving the word "Stillborn"

I'm think this is an omen and I should always wear a condom during sex

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


16810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This band also wrote a song called "Stillborn Savior" on an earlier album lol

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


10178 Comments


Might as well get sterilized now

oltnabrick
November 25th 2014


35835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is definitely their best next to Unblessing the Purity.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


16810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nightmares Made Flesh will always be my favorite, one of the first death metal albums I ever owned and probably their catchiest.

R6Rider
November 25th 2014


5155 Comments


still have to listen to this but the vocals from the tracks that have been released are awful, which kinda killed it for me

+1

I can't see this topping The Fathom Mastery for me.


tempest--
November 25th 2014


20577 Comments


Breeding Death is best Bloodbath need 2 cheque this one

trackbytrackreviews
November 25th 2014


3338 Comments


Akerfeldt kicks Holmes' ass

BigPleb
November 25th 2014


51486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

LET THE STILLBORN

COME TO MEEEEE



Album rules.

NeroCorleone80
November 26th 2014


34331 Comments


This would be a lot better if Nick's growls were like on Gothic

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
November 26th 2014


14893 Comments


who is new vox tbh

Digging: Weezer - Pacific Daydream

DungeonBoy
November 26th 2014


3237 Comments


Your review makes me want to check this out. Can't say I really loved anything since Resurrection Through Carnage, but this sounds like they may have gone back to that older filth ridden style.

On a first impression, I hated the vocals on whatever the first single they released was. The riffs were solid, so hopefully the vocals will grow on me.

Digging: Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Egarran
November 26th 2014


4136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It weirded me out that ol' Nick would be singing on this. But things went better than expected.



COME FORTH BELIAL

Digging: Mesarthim - .- -?.?.?. .?.?. . -. -?.?-?. .

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2014


16810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

who is new vox tbh




Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
November 28th 2014


14893 Comments


first track is doing it right

bigguytoo9
November 28th 2014


412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Loving the riffs on this disc.



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