Bloodbath – Survival of the Sickest

8/10

After a four-year wait, the time has finally come for a new Bloodbath album! In my opinion, their last release – 2018’s The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn – didn’t really hold up to 2014’s magnificent Grand Morbid Funeral but knowing the capacity and competence of the band members, my expectations have been ever so high.

The first thing that struck me, listening to Survival of the Sickest for the first time, was the quality of the riffs. You can’t write great death metal without great riffs, and in that regard this album is spot on. Additionally , Nick Holmes as always gives a fantastic performance behind the mic. We’re also treated to excellent guest appearances by Mark “Barney” Greenway (Napalm Death), Luc Lemay (Gorguts) and Marc Grewe (Morgoth). I especially enjoy the intensity Barney brings to “Putrefying Corpse” – his unique vocal expression really brings that extra something to the song.

On top of the Swedish death metal foundation there are borderline thrash metal songs like “Zombie Inferno”, songs more reminiscing of Cannibal Corpse – such as “Malignant Maggot Therapy” and “Born Infernal” as well as the slow and powerful juggernaut “No God Before Me”. The different musical directions don’t really surprise me as Bloodbath always have mixed their Stockholm death metal with, mainly, elements from the Florida scene, showing their love to the genre as a whole. Still, it is really impressive how coherent the album actually is in spite of its variation, with a distinct Bloodbath identity permeating every song.
I’m happy to say that this is an excellent album that I will be returning to for years to come. In a way, Bloodbath have managed to create an old-school death metal album without getting stuck in the past, while also managing to keep it modern and dynamic without losing touch with their musical roots. Is it a stronger album than Grand Morbid Funeral? I can’t say – they’re both really good and they both have their own unique strengths. Let’s just leave it at that.

Artist: Bloodbath
Title: Survival of the Sickest
Rating: 8/10
Label: Napalm Records
Release date: 9/9-2022
Standout tracks: Zombie Inferno, Putrefying Corpse, No God Before Me

Bloodbath – Survival of the Sickest

September 14, 2022

The different musical directions don't really surprise me as Bloodbath always have mixed their Stockholm death metal with, mainly, elements from the Florida scene, showing their love to the genre as a whole.

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