Review Summary: Great “every day death metal”.Bloodbath
was born in 1998, basically as a supergroup featuring members of bands like Opeth
with one simple goal: write and play death metal they enjoy the most. At the start, their style was something like the combination of the traditional Swedish chainsaw (a la Entombed
) and the influential US death metal wave at the time (think about the Floridan death metal scene here). The band went through several member-changes, and this naturally came with drifts in their style as well. For example, their previous offering, the gigantic The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn
featured Joakim Karlsson as the second guitarist (from the infamous Swedish black metal band, Craft
) and he had a significant impact on the album’s general tone: it was darker, sharp (very-very chainsawy) and savage, definitely putting the black metal-related edge on display. Since then, another change in the band’s lineup happened (now having Tomas Åkvik aboard as a second guitarist), and not surprisingly this can be connected to (yet again) hearing a different side of Bloodbath
. To put it shortly: the band’s latest album, Survival of the Sickest
has a “less chainsawy sound" and puts more emphasis on a dynamic flow, and not to mention: melodies
If I’d want to summarize Survival of the Sickest
, then I’d say it’s like a perfect epitome of a great every day death metal
album. …and I mean that in the most positive way! Sometimes, the listeners (like me) hunger for nothing else, just simple, entertaining riff-feasts; and Bloodbath
delivers exactly that. They admittedly do this just for the love of quality death metal, the experimentalism and creating twisted, abysmal horror-soundscapes remains a task for others. They have proven their great craftsmanship in their previous releases as well, but Survival of the Sickest
somehow stands out for me, maybe just from being purely excellent.
One of the most noticeable strengths of this release is the noteworthy diversity within. Sometimes you can hear heavy chuggier parts (in song like “Carved” for example, with a guest vocalist no other than Luc Lemay from Gorguts
) but there are times when they shepherded the a flow to a more playful direction (like in “Malignant Maggot Therapy”, but
not in the proggy way though), and some songs sound quite unorthodox even (for example, the album’s closer song contains lots of clean vocals in a returning chanting chorus). Moreover, it’s important to mention the album’s consistency and the great studio work as well (especially loved the guitar tone, even though there were no HM-2 pedals involved). There are no weak tracks on this album, really. However, it’d be quite hard to name a definite pinnacle as well, since all songs feel really polished and well-structured - I mean, for such a straight-forward death metal album, it’s a notable positive factor!
If you’re carving for a good and entertaining death metal album on the recent menu, you should definitely give a chance to Survival of the Sickest
as well. Great dynamics, flowing melodies and punchy riffs: what else do you need?