|Title: Resurrection through Carnage
Label: Century Media
Release Date: 11/12/02
|Judgment Committee Reviews||Rating|
||Go to Reader Reviews|
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With the 2000 release Breeding Death, Bloodbath became one of the few 'supergroups' that lived up to their billing. Of course, that release was but a measly three songs in length, promoted as a throwback to old school late 80s, early 90s death metal. But for all of its brevity, it was a great thing to hear. Especially for someone who is my age, old enough to remember the good old days, but still young enough not to dismiss everything since as irrelevant (I hate people who say music isn't what it used to be. If you haven't bought a new CD in over 10 years you're worse than those annoying classic rock fans).
"Yes, it's actually over a half an hour long, and it is well up to the task of satisfying even the highest of expectations."
Anyway, this is the first full length from these boys. Yes, it's actually over a half an hour long, and it is well up to the task of satisfying even the highest of expectations. The only remotely disappointing aspect to this album is the fact that it doesn't really strike me as the 'throwback' that they set out to do. In all honesty, it just sounds too fresh. The biggest correlation between this effort and the classics of the past is in the guitar sound. The sound is dirty and ugly and just about perfect. It reminds me of the first time I heard early Edge of Sanity, and that's not the only characteristic that can be traced to that groundbreaking band. In fact, you can hear a little of every members' respective bands somewhere in the mix. It's not always obvious, but you simply can't suppress this much talent.
Dan Swano is a god, and I was initially a little bummed when I heard that he had been relegated to drums, but I need not have worried. His signature is all over this work, and while I have no idea who did the bulk of the songwriting, it is apparent that Swano had a part in it, or at least they were greatly influenced by his early work.
"Every song on this album is killer, and it really proves that this 'old-school' sound still has a lot to offer."
Every song on this album is killer, and it really proves that this 'old-school' sound still has a lot to offer. It's not very melodic, but far from American-sounding and it has one of the best senses of groove heard in extreme music. Mike Akerfeldt's vocals are exquisite and powerful, and really help to push the songs home. The rest of the sound is perfected by the brilliant guitars. And when I say brilliant I don't mean that they are technically all that impressive, or they are utilizing groudbreaking techniques, but that they are just what they should be: massive, thick, bludgeoning chops that make you grit your teeth and bang your head.
This album is a must have for any metalhead regardless of age or specific genre attachment. This is just a brilliantly crafted album that is the best in its genre, and that's not only because it's in a genre all its own. One word review: Amazing.
"Supergroup" Bloodbath return to resurrect the era of the old "Stockholm Sound" (think Dismember, Entombed) with Resurrection Through Carnage. Is the "Through Carnage" part of the title a possible reference to the Dismember precursor band known as Carnage? Is that a reference to Entombed's "Revel in Flesh" I hear in track two, "So You Die"? Who knows if these connections are real or imagined. In the end, it doesn't even matter because, possible retro references aside, Bloodbath have done so much more with this record than simply recapture old Swedish glory. Led by vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), guitarist Anders Nystrom (Katatonia), basist Jonas Renske (Katatonia) and drummer Dan Swano (Edge of Sanity/Diabolical Masquerade), the band brings us back to the old school, dirty death metal, pre "death-n-roll" sound of famous Swedish death metal heroes of yore, the era of indecipherable band logos and lots of lyrical blood and gore. However, this is so much more than a retro outing. This is a first-rate, exquisitely produced, headbanging classic.
"As Eric Cartman might say . . . "seriously guys," you just can't help but bang your head to Bloodbath."
As Eric Cartman might say . . . "seriously guys," you just can't help but bang your head to Bloodbath. Opener "Ways to the Grave" not only evokes the classic Stockholm bands but even digs deeper into death metal history by cultivating the spirit of Chuck Schuldiner and the first two classic Death albums (Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy) with the mid-tempo, incessantly grinding (in the non-subgenre sense of the term) double-bass backed riffs that are so fucking simple yet so fucking powerful and definitely so fucking heavy that your brain hurts to have the chance to hear them again and again and again. Swano pulls off a surprisingly masterful drum performance that so perfectly compliments the riffing and what this band appears to be all about that the drumming moves beyond complementing the guitar work and actually becomes one of the record's featured attractions in its own right. Akerfeldt's vocals are also top-notch and aggressively brutal, even more so when you compare them to some of the softer, cleaner passages he's shown us he is capable of with Opeth.
"In short, this is so much more than a shout-out to death metal history. Instead, Bloodbath forge a new metallic legacy with this wonderful new record."
In short, this is so much more than a shout-out to death metal history. Instead, Bloodbath forge a new metallic legacy with this wonderful new record. I expect that people are going to be talking about this one when they compose their year-end top albums of 2002 lists. I further suspect that once this makes the rounds and word gets out, underground metalheads looking for something fresh yet within the boundaries of the classic death metal roots will be all over Resurrection Through Carnage. If this leaves your short list of "CDs in or near your stereo" within the first month after you get it, something is definitely wrong.
Favorite track: "So You Die"
"Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Sit down. You are in for a treat."
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Sit down. You are in for a treat. Bloodbath is 41 minutes of sheer death metal assault. Not the pass é variations everyone seems to play these days, but of the Stockholm sound days gone by. Famine took it upon himself to put together some educational materials to refresh us on our history, but I neglected that like any other history lesson. For you see, it really matters not. Bloodbath simply tears. That's all I need to know.
"When November 12 rolls around, be prepared to batter down doors for this one."
And, really, all anyone needs to know. Riffs that tempt self-decapitation from banging your head too hard, dulcet roars, rampant drumming - come on, how can you possibly resist? Still not convinced? Well, fine, then what about the inherently infectious nature of each and every track? What do you say to that? I thought so.
Surrender - it's your only choice. Allow the onslaught absorb you and carry you to its logical conclusion: salivating for more. This is strictly a no-brainer. It will appear on my top ten albums of the year. The only question now is, where? When November 12 rolls around, be prepared to batter down doors for this one.
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