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Let me write now few words on one of the best death metal albums of the recent years. You may feel a bit skeptical towards bands / side projects like Bloodbath and don’t take them so seriously. It’s your choice, but personally I don’t care about calling them an “all star band” or whatever, I also don’t care if it’s their main band or not. The music is what counts and surely Bloodbath released some seriously killer albums. “Nightmare Made Flesh” is my favourite CD from them and honestly, for me this stuff is close to perfection. There’s a bunch of great songs attacking mercilessly one after another, with killer riffage, super tight performance, neat production and the really vicious sounding vocals of Peter Tägtgren, who joined Bloodbath for this album, replacing Mikael Akerfeldt. There’s absolutely nothing that I would not like about “Nightmare Made Flesh”, yes!
Bloodbath did not reinvent the wheel with “Nightmare Made Flesh”. They did not come up with anything super sophisticated. What I like about it though is how killer the songwriting here is, as the band came up with plenty of super fuckin awesome riffs that are often catchy, but aggressive, nasty and crushing as hell. And they always force you to bang the head like crazy, as the sound of this album is truly powerful and vicious. Bloodbath composed great songs, filled with fantastic arrangements, and along with brutal stuff you’ll also find some nice harmonies, guitar leads and so on. In result, every song sounds special. Maybe some of you will miss a bit of that primitive and harsh nature of underground death metal, but let’s just say that with such spectacular albums it doesn’t really matter. For me it all sounds like Bloodbath tried to add something original to the old death metal skeletons and damn, this is why “Nightmare Made Flesh” is above 99% of old school death metal albums. They succeeded and nailed it perfectly.
Great musicianship, killer riffs, fantastic arrangements… yes, it’s all here. But also great diversity, so 45 minutes and 12 songs go fast and never bore. There’s super fast, nasty and aggressive stuff, there are more catchy and groovy mid paced riffs that have such a great feeling and you will bang your skull when listening to such tracks as “Eaten”, I am sure. And there are plenty of melodic songs as well. The number of songs that will stay in your head and cause devastation in it is great – you have such monstrous pieces as “Cancer of the Soul, “Eaten” (best Bloodbath song ever with killer gory lyrics!), “The Ascension”, “Soul Evisceration”, “Outnumbering the Day”. These are my favourites, but how can I not recommend “Brave New Hell” or any other song on this album, really??
The best thing to do is to play it loud. You’ll feel its enormous energy and onslaught. Just be careful not to hurt your neck too much. Damn good album!
Standout tracks: “Cancer of the Soul, “Eaten”, “The Ascension”, “Soul Evisceration”, “Outnumbering the Day”
Final rate: 90/100
Had you asked me a half decade ago, Resurrection Through Carnage would have been the Bloodbath record I championed as my favorite; but in the ensuing years I've found myself listening more and more to its predecessors, both of which exhibit stronger songwriting chops and a fraction more technicality that help to maintain interest. What's more, with Nightmares Made Flesh the Swedes seemed to transform from a 'supergroup homage' to an example of consummate professionalism in the field of death metal nostalgia. As overt as the influences are, many hailing from their very own country, with this album and its successor, I never really had the feeling that Bloodbath were perpetually 'living in the moment'. Unlike a lot of other throwback stylists, Nightmares Made Flesh doesn't feel like they're writing a record for 1993. It feels like they're writing one for the 21st century, which just happens to follow an 'ain't broke, don't fix it' mentality. Hell, by 1993, most of these guys were already putting out music...
This is better refined musically than its predecessor, which was far more of a chunky tribute to Swedish death luminaries like Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember. There were a lineup difference in that the band hired on Hypocrisy main man Peter Tägtgren to temporarily fill the shoes of Mikael Åkerfeldt, who was intensely busy with Opeth at the time; and Martin Axenrot (Witchery, Satanic Slaughter, etc) came on board so that they could have a full-time drummer, Dan Swanö focusing more on the guitar. These changes don't exactly factor into why I enjoy this record more, but certainly I felt that Peter had a better flexibility in his delivery than Mikael, even if his deep growl isn't quite so opaque and caustic. The riffs here are in general a little more frenetic and occasionally higher pitched in nature, and with Hypocrisy's diverse catalog and Peter's experience also in Pain, The Abyss and other projects, I can't think of anyone else more qualified to incorporate into ANY extreme musical project, even on the fly. Ultimately, I enjoyed his presence here more than Åkerfeldt on Breeding Death and Resurrection Through Carnage, but when Mike returned for The Fathomless Mastery, I wasn't exactly disappointed. Really, this shit isn't rocket science, either of the men could handle it, and Bloodbath is more about the riffs anyway.
Which is, of course, where this particular album excels. And there was no excuse for it not to, with two of the best songwriters in the country, Blakkheim and Dan Swanö laying into some corpulent grooves redolent of their peers in the 90s. Heartwork-era Carcass is a solid comparison, laced with the driving overtures of Entombed or Soulless-period Grave, and even culminating in a few individual riffs which feel like they could have been lifted off these bands' cult classic offerings. You can also here some slower Entombed or Bolt Thrower during the few sequences that reference death/doom on the latter half of the album, or even traces of latter-day Death in a few of the more clinical, busy note progressions in pieces like the opener "Cancer of the Soul". But Bloodbath is not beneath grafting a little creative editing of their own onto the style's blueprint, and so you end up with absolute fucking killer guitars like the tremolo picking sequence initiating "Outnumbering the Day" or that incredible, to-die-for d-beat beatdown groove in "Year of the Cadaver Race", which rivals almost anything on Clandestine or Wolverine Blues. I can't say that all of the guitars here are equally as ass-throttling and inspired, but you won't encounter a long, dry period without something entertaining...and across 12 tracks, that means quite a lot of fun.
FUN. Like, invigorating in that way you might have felt when first hearing the supergroup's ghoulish forebears during the actual 90s (if you were alive or of age to do so). But Bloodbath aren't just old hats and writing good songs, they've created an album here with timeless production values, clean enough to sate the fan of more modern/brutal death metal but still packing plenty of punch for the old timer. There's a reason why a lot of younger death metal fans I've come across, who seem to have little tolerance for the decades-old classics seem to be quite fond of this group even despite the lack of brain-spinning technicality they're accustomed to, and that once again points to the Swedes' decision to smooth out some of the grime and not shoot for the 1991 tape-reel production. Loud, pumping rhythm guitars warm and polished enough to wallop you with the deep end, but still very clear when they're racing off into some more intricate, melodic picking. The leads are also very well-defined, ripping and evil, the sort that fire up the excitement level well beyond what is already being played. That's another thing...most of the tunes here sound positively diabolic, due to the craftiness of the riff construction!
Fuck, these are all pretty mainstream dudes in Swedish metal who have broken big with softer acts like Katatonia, Pain and Nightingale, safe to play in front of your grandparents; so the fact that they can churn out wicked and imposing riffs better than the lion's share of 3rd generation Swedophiliacs the world over speaks volumes about how in tune they are with their backgrounds that inspired the project. For a project that's not even meant to be serious, the music here is molded with more passion and effort than you'd expect, and apart from a few lyrics (arguably), there's nothing so explicitly silly about this band. They don't saturate the songs' varied, visceral themes in the most disgustingly descriptive lyrics you get out of the competitive gore bands, but a tune like "Eaten" still makes me squirm a little in how it depicts cannibalistic desires from a perspective you normally don't experience. Or how about "Year of the Cadaver Race" in which undead livestock exterminate humanity. Eww! Truth be told, Nightmares Made Flesh is the total package, the sort of album you'd be proud to own had it come out 10 or 20 years prior, and proud to own now. I realize there's a small minority that will balk at the band because of its members or because retro death metal is utterly uncool, but if Bloodbath had arrived in 1992-4, the poster would very likely be on those same folks' walls, the tees proudly outgrown but displayed in their closets or carved into back patches for that inevitable midlife crisis when the khakis come off and the HORNS ARE THROWN.
So yeah, I have a great time with this record, but it'd be unfair to not point out the few deficiencies. For one, these riffs don't hit with a 100% success ratio, even though there's not really a noticeably 'weak' track over the dozen. A lot are just paraphrased from a few dozen of the obvious influences, from Morbid Angel to Entombed, so when you hear the truly amazing progressions (including those I mentioned earlier), they tend to really stand out and make you wish the rest were quite as great. Also, Jonas Renkse's bass playing, while loud enough, is dubiously dull and noncommittal. I know he's also involved with some of the guitars, backing vocals and overall songwriting...and that a lot of old death metal records don't themselves involve compelling or noteworthy bass playing; but a band like this which isn't thinking entirely in reverse could take an extra few days to pull up some half-decent lines and fills, which are treacherously few here. Otherwise, this is an album I can crank nearly a decade after its release date, inspired by material a decade older still, and it just feels timeless and engaging, despite its lack of novelty. A slab of semi-sickening, confident concussion for those who approach it from either the horror or headbanging angles.
This is death metal and death metal to its superlative degree. Frankly, I discovered about this record at the time I was focusing upon death growls more than anything and I am fortunate that someone directed me this. What could be a tastier treat than this? It is because of these ever mighty vocals, the magnificent guitars and the simplicity and directness of song-writing, this album is so authentically excellent. I am not going track by track but as a whole, it’s genuinely fantastic.
The songs aren’t much complicatedly made and there are plenty of catchy riffs. Well, the whole album is carved by catchiness for that matter. There are few (somewhat) groove-metal/hardcore leaning riffs and there are few shorter lead solos, which again are easy listening. These lead solos are the only portions where tads of melody appear, as they are killed by the venomousness at every other instance. In general the guitar work is really effective and appreciable. It can be soundly noticed that the musicians were attempting to create some straight shit and with no complexities involved, which can be best illustrated by riff as in “Cancer of Soul” (1:47), which is plain and made with a sequence that outfits the constant brutality.
For me, the highlight of the tracks is the godly vocalist, Peter Tagtgren. His strength, deepness and rage have always influenced me. May it be the lowness, the high notes or the hardcore screams; the whole thing he has done is stunning. I had no idea about Hypocrisy, until I knew about him. Everything he has executed in this album has made him my favorite with microphone.
The drums too are great. At times, I felt like the double bass weren’t sounding as loud as they should have been. But overall, the drum work has been done simply but powerfully.
Every song is made brilliant. “Eaten” is probably the slowest in the album, but involving the equal strength. The lyrics are simple but sick and evil, the type that death metal should comprise and the production is quite decent as well.
When old school meets a slight newness, Nightmares Made Flesh is born which isn’t reinventing the wheel, but certainly is a death metal masterpiece. A nice headbang treat it is.
Well. I'm not convinced. Yes, I do hear a lot of old school type of riffing and some melodies remembering me of the early nineties DM scene from Sweden and Finland as well. So sofar no complaints obviously. But there are really two annoying elements which prohibit and 'older' DM fan like me from truly enjoying this. No, it's not that this isn't a band I grew up with because I do like certain new stuff like Tribulation and such. It's the structure of the songs and some populistic ideas. Also I just can't get rid off the compositional copy-paste feeling on a number of songs.
Just check out the intro to "Outnumbering the Day". Yes, that's exactly what I always loved back in the day. But when the vocals join in the rhythm turns awfully groove metal with some yo-mutha-fuckah riff over it. The horror! Then the song picks up again, raging on. The lead and middle section are also quite memorable. But of course the damage has been done already. 'Bastard Son of God' starts great. nice verse. But then the chorus comes in. Second rate riff blurred by overactive double bass on which the group tries to imitate Morbid Angel during Blessed Are The Sick but fails being equally catchy. The blast speed later on can't save it anymore. And so I can name something about every song here. Each song has as least two or three moments when tendencies of hipness just take over and I throw away my headphones in horror.
One could say this is a refreshing mixture of the old and new. And maybe it truly is. Maybe that is why this is the kind of death metal which the kids really 'dig'. It has enough old school elements to save their reputation yet enough modern groovy ideas to remind them of the days of nu metal when they first heard loud guitars? Who knows?
Calling this one of the best death metal albums ever? No way! Listening to 'Feeding the Undead' right now and this doesn't even come close to any song ever written by Death. For that matter, play this song just after Altars Of Madness, Left Hand Path, War Master, Been Caught Buttering or Consuming Impulse and try to convince me it is even remotely memorable. Won't work. Nothing about this song truly stands out.
This album indeed has a huge collection of great ideas. But great ideas on themselves don't automatically make good songs since the album has equally as many bad ideas....
I'll just start off this review by simply saying, if you are a fan of extreme metal you should probably own this album. I have yet to meet a single extreme metal fan that has not found something enjoyable from this album; even if it was a few songs or so but most agree with me here that this is essential death metal that is hard to be topped. There is a sheer level or overwhelming brutality (not brootality you fuck), an insurmountable amount of catchiness, and plenty of other small things that makes this pure death metal. Bloodbath's sophomore album, Nightmares Made Flesh, was released in 2004, while ranking up there with the old school classic death metal albums easily shattering some of the classics and holding strong with the legends. This is a death metal classic, simple enough.
Every element about Bloodbath right now is all coming together like the separate members of the Fantastic Four realizing how they were meant for each other to be a team, joining together to become a super fucking force to be reckoned with. You have Dan Swano, infamous metal maniac as well as uber producer extraordinaire. His style is hard to mistake and easily recognizable, bringing in much to help here with a slick and perfect production, allowing the brutality and heaviness easily mixed well with all other elements. Most importantly noted here is frontman and vocalist, Peter Tagtgren, who has become a death metal god from his work with Hypocrisy. This man, is a fucking vocal powerhouse. An unstoppable force to be reckoned with, like the Thing, he's here to destroy anything in his fucking path. His growls and shrieks are ridiculous, ranging from eardrum shattering and unbelievably piercing shrill highs on the heavy opener "Cancer of the Soul" to the low gutturals on "Eaten".
The songs themselves are all catchy, varied and undeniably awesome when brought together make for a great listen as a whole. The opener, "Cancer of the Soul" is the perfect way to start off this album, kicking you in the teeth straight from the get go with death metal blasting and riffing going straight into the infamous line, "KILL THEM, FOR THEY MUST DIE!". Already getting the death metal atmosphere going with the great production upping the ante with brutality and heaviness unmatched. Following it up is "Brave New Hell" which is a definite stand out track amongst the rest. This song has one of the most headbangable moments in all of metal history, by far. Starting off fairly mid tempo leading into a faster section then at about halfway through around 2 minutes you can feel the build up coming a mile away... oh boy here it comes, the atmosphere and the riffing lasts about 20 seconds before fucking exploding into a full on epic mid tempo riff-fest. Holy fuck, what a build up and with evil atmosphere until fucking ripping you up with the utter brutality snapping your neck with that riff. The build up is so intense and such a cock tease. Like that one girl you've had your eye on for quite a bit, that has that face, the perfect porn star eyes and DSP, flirting with you all the time until you meet up with her finally and she lets you bust your nut all over her face, the build up is so insane it's ridiculous, and then the second that riff opens up is the second you get happy all over her face. It's that one special girl that actually finally let you do that to her, fuck yeah!
The rest of the album continues with faster numbers and mid tempos and the like, as this album is full of variety. One minute the song will be blasting away with pure insanity then ending up with heavy atmosphere and slow grooving parts, which is what makes this album so brilliant, the variety and diversity found in the songs is undeniably bringing you back for more, as shown in on "Stillborn Saviour". There plenty of fun shredding solos thrown in around here as well as the slower and more in depth lead guitar work as found on "Blood Vortex" and such, adding more to the variety. Most importantly though is Peter Tagtgren once again and how his vocals are amazingly all over the place, with his low growls to the awesome piercing screams and even black metal-esque shrieks, all in one fucking song! The best example of this and the best way to sum up Nightmares Made Flesh is the best song off this album, "Eaten"; which has it all - the mid tempo brutality that is heavier than the fastest song. The leads and the catchiness is what makes it so popular and infamous, with the hilarious gory lyrics as well as the catchy-as-fuck chorus, try not to sing along to that, seriously.
Basically, this is essentially a death metal classic, plain and simple. Everything about this sums up what I think about when I think death metal, easily standing up with the rest of the old school classics and easily destroying the rest of the competition nowadays. This is the only Bloodbath album I've heard, I've been wary about listening to the rest of the stuff, despite enjoying Mikael Akerfeldt's vocals a lot, I just don't want to be disappointed because this is so massive in awesomeness. I'll eventually get around to checking the rest out, but this is pure death metal bliss. I'll also note that I didn't give it a 100, it's not a perfect album in it's entirety, despite after all the raving I've done and fanboyish writing this may seem, but this almost as good as it gets. The real drawbacks I can barely find here are really small and easily overlooked; the album is only 45ish minutes which is about average, but some of the songs towards the end of the album are less as memorable than the others, although when listening it's still highly enjoyable and works perfectly as a whole album. I highly recommend this album to extreme metal fans as well as metal fans in general, Bloodbath struck gold on this one.
Few names in the dark, disease-ridden musical hell of death metal cult, have managed to stir up quite the degree of wide-eyed reverence as Bloodbath have, and for damn bloody good reasons too. For all the fluctuating degrees of priority placed upon the group by the band members themselves, their reconciliation of the glory of the old school and the vitality of its newer progressive elements has firmly set their reputation in stone, and in the name of all that is unholy, what beauteous majesty ‘twas when Bloodbath graced this mortal world with ‘Nightmares Made Flesh’!
While many hold the merciless extremity of ‘Resurrection Through Carnage’ or even the pummelling heaviness of ‘The Fathomless Mastery’ as the most noteworthy points of the Bloodbath saga, ‘Nightmares Made Flesh’ is the true triumph of their small but poignant legacy. Especially notable for being possibly the only time the legendary metal maestro Peter Tagtgren will ever lay his growl over these gore-splattered riffs, the album is not merely a landmark in the band’s career but an underrated milestone in extreme metal’s history.
Tagtgren is by a country mile a superior vocalist to the already exceptional Mike Akerfeldt (despite his more noted involvement with the band). While the latter’s vocal approach is grittier, harsher, and rougher around the edges, the former possesses a deep, bellowing authority in his growls and a purely demented danger in his screams, lending each and every song a commanding power that compliments their anthemic edge sublimely. The remainder of the band are on just as stellar a form as their frontman, their technical precision and excellence never faltering or slowing, and remaining utterly compelling throughout.
While Bloodbath have always been noted, past, present and hopefully in the future, for a certain hook-filled flair for songwriting, on ‘Nightmares...’ the talent comes to the fore with some of the most impossibly catchy yet simultaneously brutal material ever unleashed in ANY genre of extreme metal. The pulverizing likes of ‘Cancer of the Soul’, ‘Stillborn Saviour’ and ‘Bastard Son of God’ send the record on a mad descent to hell on the back of driving, spiralling riffs that will come to be embedded on the brains of all who hear them, whilst the grooving backbone of the masterful, blood-soaked album centrepiece ‘Eaten’ is stronger than reinforced steel, not to mention catchier than all the horrific plagues described in excruciating detail on the extraordinary thrasher ‘Draped In Disease.’ This is anthemic, fist-pumping songwriting of the absolute highest order, as much at ease with sending necks snapping and limbs flailing in the pits as it is with inciting fists to pump along to every single howling rendition of ‘Brave New Hell.’
It is not merely in crushing brutality that the album’s qualities lie – the skill the band have in the creation of sinister atmospherics, considering that they use more conventional methods than most, is another aspect that renders ‘Nightmares...’ as such a feat. Every coruscating tremolo riff, every subtly plucked and lingering acoustic line, and every slowly rising drum fill is an exercise in establishing a grim mood and a fearful tension, and they become doubly impressive when one considers that most artists substitute this additional effort for a meagre attempt at synthesised ambience. Rare is the day artists are able to live up to the connotations of the titles of their pieces, but ‘Nightmares Made Flesh’ is one album that truly does take on vivid life through that particular talent and drive.
An extraordinary achievement in extreme metal song craft, supported no end by Bloodbath’s unerring and unwavering dedication to the ancient death metal cult, ‘Nightmares Made Flesh’ is the triumph of a band and of a genre, and easily ranks as one of the most excellent extreme albums any metal fan may ever hear in their tenure as a fan of such music.
This is the very first death metal album I ever owned. It has to be my favorite death metal album ever. I have heard more death metal than a normal person would normally listen to. This album features Peter Tatgren on vocals, Dan Swano, (my personal musical hero) on guitar, and Martin Axenrot on Drums, Blekkheim on guitar, and Jonas Renske on bass. The album was produced by (of course) Dan Swano.
With the opening track, "Cancer Of The Soul", the first thing you hear, is a little guitar riff followed by a huge grunt, then followed by a huge mixture. Right away, everything is just great. The tone of the guitar. The vocals are golden and clean. Swano's guitar playing is awesome, and varies throughout the album, from heinously fast riffage to down-right gut-bustingly heavy power chords. That's one of the big things about this album. It has a lot of variety. It's as if you are hearing a compilation of death metal songs from different death metal bands that are performed by the same 5 guys. Compare the song "Eaten" to "Soul Evisceration". "Eaten" is a powerhouse of, well, power. It starts with an explosion of noise and just kills you. It starts with the crack of Jonas' bass, and then hell breaks loose as all the members just explode. It has a very death metal-ey theme, that is clearly heard, yet great, proving that death metal doesn't have to be disgustingly deep to be great. I still can't get over the vocals. They are perfect. Clear, loud, but audible and have a great variety. The instruments in "Eaten" fit so well together. The drums are slow and disgustingly powerful. That song has that certain quality as if you were headbanging as hard as you ever have, but in slow motion, you know? The song "Soul Evisceration", on the other hand, starts with a fast, distorted guitar, into a huge hellish scream, followed closely by heinous drum beats. Then a slower build-up, then a "ting" of a symbol, then the verse nukez you. This is the song you're looking for if you're one of those metal-heads who crankz their stereos to MAX and jumps around the room smashing your head on walls and punching holes in the ceiling and floor, followed by playing air guitar to the fucking wicked solo. It's just pure hell, that album, and is a necessary album in your "Collection Of Death" as I call it. It's basically get it or die in the death metal world.
Straight out, 100% may seem excessive unless the person is biased. Admittedly, I am a big Bloodbath fan - but this album is just about perfect.
Up until two years ago, I had no idea who Bloodbath were. My knowledge of metal extended to Slayer, old school Metallica and Cannibal Corpse. A friend of mine gave me a copy of Breeding Death and Resurrection Through Carnage to listen to - from that point, I was introduced to Opeth, Katatonia, Edge of Sanity, Infestdead, Ribspreader, Hypocrisy - which then had me looking into Behemoth, which led to Nile.... you get the point. So Bloodbath, being the band that really introduced me to the whole extreme metal scene, have a special place in my heart.
I was excited as hell when I heard that Bloodbath were doing a new album. I was discouraged a little to hear that Mike was not going to be a part of it, until I heard that Evil Pete was taking over vocal duties, and that a full time drummer was being added in Axe - leaving Swano free to carve things up a bit with Blakkheim. I knew as soon as I heard this news that the new album would kick ass; the question was just exactly how much ass it would kick. How surprised I was....
Each of the 12 tracks were either written or co-written by the three surviving, founding members of the band. As a result, in each track you hear various influences from each of the other bands these guys play in - in particular, a lot of Edge of Sanity and Diabolical Masquerade can be found. This isn't a bad thing either. Despite this, a distinctly old school Swedish death sound prevails.
One thing the listener will notice straight away is the difference between each of the three albums. Breeding Death was distinctly old school . Resurrection was a little more, dare I say, experimental. It was still pretty good, but sounded a little unpolished, incomplete. Nightmares Made Flesh completely changes things. It is a far more technical album, due in part to the addition of a full time drummer and a second guitarist. The addition of Pete certainly didn't hurt things. I'll probably cop a bit of shit for saying this, but I prefer his vocals to Mikes. Mike is deep and brutal as hell, but Pete is a little clearer and he can also hit the black metal style scream when it's required. That in itself really adds something to the mix; another dimension of evil.
In terms of songwriting, each of the tracks penned by Blakkheim and Swano are brilliant. The Renske tracks are still very good, but initially required me to listen two or three times to really appreciate them. Feeding the Undead did at least.
I won't analyse the album track by track - but I will mention track number six, Eaten. This is my favourite track off the album by far, and its also the most brutal track. Swano reportedly based the track on that German dude that ate the other dude he met online. The lyrics are probably something you'd hear more on a grind or gore album, not quite as extreme. Petes vocals here are unbelieveable - deep, gutteral - yet clear as a bell. Pounding drums and chugging riffs sound like they're the go, until a Diabolical Masquerade style interlude takes over. The track ends with Pete screaming, black metal style, "Desecrate me, tear me limb from limb, eviscerate me, chew me to death!" before finishing deep and brutal.
That piece right there really sums up the album - brutal, technical, influenced not only by the old school Swedish acts but also by bands the members are involved in, and a sensational mix of various genres and sub-genres of metal - death, black, thrash, gore, progressive....
Bloodbath have recorded a winner here. I would go so far as to say this will be a major contender for album of the decade, only half way through - even amongst the company of Hypocrisys Virus, Niles Annihilation of the Wicked, Behemoths Demigod - sheer fucking death metal brilliance.
This is indeed some very sweet death metal. I must say that at first listen, I was a little perturbed - where was Mike from Opeth's low-end growl? Why aren't the guitars as scuzzy and old-skool? However, after hearing "Eaten" for the first time, I slowly began to come around. Now I am nearly addicted to this album - I have to hide it on myself to avoid listening on a daily basis.
I have never listened to any Hypocrisy before, but with the evil Peter on vocals they must be awesome. He does the job well here on "Nightmares..." though I still prefer Akerfeldt. He does a great black metally scream to emphasize the more evil lyrical content. All in all, very satisfactory in the vocal department.
The guitars, hell, the entire mix has been cleaned up considerably. While it somewhat detracts from the old school Swedish vibe, it does allow the listener to tell the difference between songs and hear some of the more complex musical moments. The switch-up on drums was a good idea, and though I don't notice a marked change, the faster songs sound more competent.
My favorite tracks are the brutal, slow, grinding "Eaten," with excellent lyrics about, well, someone who wants to be EEEEATEEEENNNNN. Also rad is the opener "Cancer of the Soul." No better way to start a death metal album than the lyrics, "Kill them for they must die." Yeah. "The Ascension" is a spooky, amazing track with a great performance by Tatgren, even a little cliche keyboard (not overused) to add to the atmosphere. The song that is most often stuck in my head is the closer "Blood Vortex," - again, great lyrics, with a fast, grooving and infectious riff throughout.
Buy this - it is deathtastic.
Nightmares Made Flesh goes everywhere within the boundaries of death metal. The atmosphere set by the CD is overwhelmingly evil. With the new lineup, Bloodbath seems to have turned the tables with new diverse music. The riffs are not as repetitive, and the vocals have a lot more range. This time you can actually hear the bass. The drumming is also a lot more powerful than it was on RTC.
My favorite tracks on the album are Eaten and Year Of the Cadaver Race.
In Eaten, the overall tone gets a lot deeper and lower- the growls, guitars, bass, evern the drums seem to sound eviler. The lyrics to the song are very grim as well. In Year Of The Cadaver Race, Peter visits hardcore screams and displays a massive amount of what he can do. The song is a great example of what Bloodbath can do.
If you do not like Bloodbath's Resurrection Through Carnage, Nightmares Made Flesh is something completely different. And if you did like Bloodbath already, this is something else you'd want to go buy.
I don’t remember a follow up album I’ve heard that has made such a statement in the first 30 seconds than Bloodbath’s “Nightmares Made Flesh”. It seemed like they were both trying to silence their critics and give us a message at the same time in one bloody swath.
The message is simply that Bloodbath are not the band they were 2 years ago, and no I am not talking about the presence of Peter Tägtgren. They are clearly in a different headspace for this album, the songs top to bottom have more depth to them, as great as an album as their 2002 debut was it lacks the dimension and variety that this record makes up for in spades.
Nightmares is more technical, while at the same time you can still hear traces of R.T.C, and after all the fuss that was made about Mikael’s departure the tone of Pete’s death growls are not all THAT dissimilar in nature. Peter does however bring a whole new aspect to the table, and while yes much like Åkerfeldt’s death growls once complemented the music nicely, it’s his demonic screams that further reinforce the nightmarish aspects and well quite frankly bring out the evil parts so that they may frolic and prosper.
The riffs are monsters often taking on characteristics of their own, and improvements in the production and overall sound of the album make it look like they very literally sat down and addressed everything that was wrong with R.T.C and then proceeded to fix them.
Remember that often borderline painful to listen to guitar tone? the one that felt like a trip to the dentist?
Yeah that’s gone now, replaced by a more crisp, HUGE guitar sound that while is still very crunchy, has dropped the failed tribute to early Swedish death metal that RTC never really sounded like in the first place anyways.
Nightmares Made Flesh is probably the finest example of what a sophomore album should be, this super group has done it, somehow they’ve managed to top their debut album in almost every conceivable way. RTC was great but it was a trip to the dentist, with Nightmares they’ve stepped it up, this album skips the middleman and takes you right to the morgue.