I first became aware of Bloodbath with the recent announcement that Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes would be doing the vocals on the new album. I checked out some of Bloodbath’s older stuff and thought “wow… that’s going to be a bit different for him” and it is!
PL are very well known for their slower, heavier gothic metal tones. Bloodbath – the name really doesn’t pretend otherwise – is far more in your face, fast-paced and violent. The music still has a very grand feel to it, theatrical and operatic, especially some of the intros (such as “Beyond Cremation”).
But, really, this is a fast-paced death metal album. Nick really does add a sneary, evil tone to the slower vocals and hell, can that man scream! It’s like someone’s given him a new toy and he’s making the most of it.
Sorry, this is turning into a “Nick Holmes” review… so how about them songs?
Well, you get eleven tracks on Grand Morbid Funeral and there’s not really a dull moment amongst them. It’s a pounding release, rarely letting up to take a breath. Guitars are jagged and biting, drums keep the pace going and the lyrics are nicely dark. Unlike some death metal albums, you can make them out throughout the album without having to refer to a lyrics sheet.
Where there are more atmospheric sections and your neck can take pause, the tone is wonderful. The guitars towards the end of “His Infernal Necropsy”, for instance, ring out almost like church bells as the track draws to a close. Little touches like this make Grand Morbid Funeral more than just another death album.
I doubt there’s any chance of this release falling foul of fans of the older material. It’s definitely worth a spin to see if it’s your cup of warm vomit.
Stand-out tracks – hmm… probably “Mental Abortion” (I like the way it kicks in at the start) and “Anne”, for the slower-paced sections which are no less abusive than the faster ones.