Well death metal enthusiasts, it’s finally here and it’s only taken six years for another Bloodbath release. There has been a lot of speculation over the past year or so as to who was going to be the new vocalist, so when it was announced that it would be Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost fame it was surprising and exciting. So now just what would this new concoction’s music sound like?
The songs seem to flow nicely and are technical in parts. On “Let The Still Born Come” the use of Entombed style-riffing, and later tremolo picked guitar, gets a catchy headbanging feel going. Before the end there’s also a nice atonal solo and some creepy effects and possible sampled voices. Other tracks like “Total Death Exhumed” make use of some Incantation or early Autopsy sounds, while on “Anne” one hears the use of pinch harmonics to create a heavy classic death ambiance.
For the production being so crisp at times its strange that Holmes vocals seem to get lost or pushed to the rear. Yes it has been awhile since we heard Nick sing like this but could the band not have made a point to highlight how important his guttural vocals are? One of the more memorable and clear vocal lines happens on “Famine of God’s word” where he screams “Torture your soul with blood forever more!”
One positive about this album is that the musicianship in the band could not be showcased better here. Axe’s drumming is just powerful, technical and snappy as ever and Sodomizer’s lead work is reminiscent of early Morbid Angel or Death. But the album itself feels simple and as if the group might be trying too hard to sound evil. Grand Morbid Funeral does have some unforgettable moments but the vocals being lost really hurts the overall effect here. Does the listener want to hear the underwater, old, decrepit, fuzzing ranting of a vocalist who is classic in this genre? If not, stay away from the closing title track.