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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.