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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.