Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records)

Raise your glass to a new chapter of Bloodbath's legacy
Release Date: 
17 Nov 2014 (All day)

It's not every day you see a legend filling the shoes of another legend, but somehow Swedish death metal veterans Bloodbath have found themselves in just such a position. As a band already made up of members from high profile bands such as Katatonia and Opeth, the departure of frontman Mikael Akerfeldt in 2012 left a significant hole in the lineup. Two years later, Bloodbath has returned with a new album and a slightly modified sound that may be a result of the addition of Nick Holmes to the fold as the new voice of the band.

Generating the same bone crushing sound Bloodbath is known for, the recruitment of the Paradise Lost vocalist has resulted in the band's latest offering entitled Grand Morbid Funeral having a few new and unique touches to it. Songs such as Church of Vastitis and title track are laced with traces of doom metal that give a new level of atmosphere to the album and a new element to the band as a whole. Rest assured, there are plenty of breakneck speed songs in the fray, including Let the Stillborn Come to Me and Unite In Pain, that will easily appeal to longtime fans. The album also includes guest appearances from members of death metal greats Autopsy to add extra brutality to the mix. 

Whereas Akerfeldt was able to balance tremendous roars and screeches with ease, Holmes prefers a more consistent midrange sound for vocals. Coming from a band that prefers clean vocals to screaming, the new frontman has his work very much cut out for him. Much to Bloodbath's advantage, all the members are blessed with impeccable musicianship and songwriting skills, and as their fourth album makes its way to record stores worldwide, they show no signs of slowing down and can only grow from here. 

The greatest challenge that Bloodbath has yet to face is the reception of Holmes' approach to the older material that will be noticeably different from past performances. However, fans are sure to overcome their reservations of new vocalist and find an appreciation for the eleven blistering tracks that make up Grand Morbid Funeral. With a few shows lined up for next year and certainly more on the way, let us raise a toast to the next chapter of one of death metal's finest bands.