Album Review: Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
Posted by Reggie
Release Date: 18 Nov 2014 (US)
Length: 47 Minutes
Previous Albums: Resurrection Through Carnage (2002); Nightmares Made Flesh (2004); The Fathomless Mastery (2008)
From: Sweden / England
FFO: Quality death metal
I cringe every time I hear the term “supergroup.” In my humble opinion, most of the time, the end result of a supergroup is a letdown. I can sum it up in one word – Lulu. In order to be a so-called supergroup, I think it goes without saying that most, if not all, of the players involved should be household names with the general public. Like, if members of AC/DC, Metallica, and Iron Maiden formed a band then yes that would be a supergroup. Most people have heard of them. But, since Opeth and Katatonia are very well-known in metal circles, I think Bloodbath’s association with the term supergroup is misused. The way I see it, Bloodbath is a collaboration of well-established metal bands that are super! And, Grand Morbid Funeral with Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes at the helm is nothing short of a lesson in what death metal is supposed to be.
Unless I missed the memo, I did not find out about Nick Holmes joining the band until just before the album was released. This could have been one of metal’s best kept secrets or I still live under a rock and missed something along the way. My first thought when news broke was that Bloodbath was going to be more doom-oriented due to Holmes’ long career in Paradise Lost. It didn’t take long into the opening track Let The Stillborn Come to Me that I realized Grand Morbid Funeral is some serious shit! And I mean that with the utmost sincerity.
My hat is off to Holmes for reaching down and pulling out the hellish growl. He had some large boots to fill replacing Akerfeldt and did an excellent job. If I didn’t know he was in the band I would have never guessed it was him. He’s that sick! I am used to post-growl Paradise Lost. If you are a Paradise Lost fan, then you know what I mean.
Grand Morbid Funeral fierce. It is saturated with the darkness, disgust, and violence that death metal stories are often associated with. Lyrically speaking, nothing is sugar-coated.
…Forced to the floor
Cuffed and gagged
Don’t be scared I’ll end you quick
Blunt force trauma
Your head I’ll split
From the zombiefied Virgin Mary album cover (that’s what it looks like to me) to the song titles such as Famine of God’s Word, Metal Abortion, and Total Death Exhumed, It is pretty clear where Bloodbath wants to be…not on the radio, but killing you intensely through your overpriced headphones.
Musically, the album has a good mix of speed, double bass, riffs, solos, rhythm, and blast beats. Nothing seems to be overused to the point of excess which is nice because the album offers some variety. From start to finish, the neck-snapping repugnance is tremendously entertaining. Church of Vastitas leans more on the doom side of the metal spectrum, but other than that Grand Morbid Funeral is a blistering dose of death metal that will surely please your dark side.
4.5 out of 5