Bloodbath // Survival Of The Sickest // Album Review
Old School Death Metal Will Never Die!
Back with a new slab of gore-soaked death are the legends keeping OSDM alive the mighty Bloodbath!
For those not in the know, Bloodbath was created by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström (both of Katatonia), Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) and Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity) in 1998 to bring back the early death metal sound from the likes of Entombed, Dismember & Death.
Now some twenty-four years later Bloodbath is still flying the flag for OSDM. The band’s last album “The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn” from 2018 had a core OSDM sound but was drenched in more blackened elements & as a nice departure from the previous albums.
This year’s “Survival Of The Sickest” saw the band go back to a more stripped-back sound of the early OSDM the band is known for. Filled with gore-soaked chainsaw guitar tones & Nick Holmes’s perfectly sculpted guttural growls.
“Zombie Inferno” the opener is Bloodbath through & through. Like an unmanned freight train, this track is a force to be reckoned with. Breakneck chugging & ferocious shredding & blast beats within the first minute. We are off to a great start. It may be fast but the track is catchy & hypnotic.
“Putrefying Corpse” is a thrashing delight that has the mighty Barney Greenway (Napalm Death) on the track.
Greenway has no problem cutting through with his signature vocal style in a back & forth with Holmes.
Lead guitar sections give off a very Death inspired vibe which I’m all here for!
Not only does “Malignant Maggot Therapy” take the best track name on the album, it’s also one of the most chaotic & frantic. Blistering drums & 1000bpm riffs make this track the shortest on the album but one of the craziest & to the point!
Further on through the album “Tales of Melting Flesh” is one of the best displays of riffing & leads from legendary guitarists Anders Nyström & Tomas Åkvik.
A “meat & potatoes” track but still disgusting in nature this track shows how tight the duo are with synchronised guitar riffs & soaring lead sections. If you’re a riff lover this ones for you.
Closer “No God Before Me” is my favourite track on the album.
The heaviest on the record is a pure chug fest.
But also the band adds some beautiful melody over the chorus section which brings a slightly death doom vibe to the track which I think works perfectly as a final curtain call for the record. Also this track yet again reminds you how amazing Nick Holmes is as a vocalist.
Near the end of the track it opens up into a choir like chant that’s erie but so satisfying. A surprising but beautiful way to bring the album to a close.
“Survival Of The Sickest” is yet again another stellar album from a band who can do no wrong. Keeping the OSDM sound alive is what Bloodbath does best, but also within the album are surprising elements that keep a band’s long lasting legacy fresh & exciting.
Survival Of The Sickest is out via Napalm Records on 9th September 2022