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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


Resurrection Through Carnage

Review by Mike Korn

Rising from the moldy earth, the corpse of true Swedish death metal refuses to stay dead and buried. Its lust for blood can never be quenched and though it may sometimes slumber beneath the soil, it will always erupt from the grave and stalk human prey. In this present age of darkness, Bloodbath stands as the purest incarnation of this gruesome musical cadaver.

The pedigree of this band is without reproach. Vocals are handled by Mikael Akerfeldt of fast rising folk/death stars Opeth while drumming is provided by legendary Dan Swano of Edge of Sanity/Pan-Thy-Monium/Nightingale and too many other Swedish bands to name. Guitars and bass are belched forth by Anders and Jonas from gloomy metallers Katatonia. So talent is not a question here, but don't expect to hear music that sounds much like Bloodbath's "home bands". "Resurrection Through Carnage" is all about the classic Swedish death metal sound of the early 90's. The gut-churning mixture of super-heavy, buzzing guitars, mucus-dripping vocals and pounding drums with tasty but brutal riffs and strangely compelling melodies that bands like Entombed, Dismember and Grave issued during that period typified the term "death metal" like no other. American bands may have played a faster, more chaotic style but when it came to catchiness and sheer heaviness, the Swedes had everything nailed in. In recent years, the dominant Swedish death metal sound has become much more melodic and less brutal, as In Flames and Dark Tranquility show.

Honestly, Bloodbath ranks with the best of the classic Swedish bands. Akerfeldt's vocals are supremely guttural and morbid but still very clear. He is probably the best death vocalist currently active. Anders delivers the buzzy guitar sound of Sunlight studios brilliantly, but he also varies tones enough to make things interesting. Bloodbath is not just a recreation of the past; it amplifies and builds on it. Every track on "Resurrection Through Carnage" is distinct and yet remains completely true to that early 90's sound. The album is much cleverer than it would appear on first inspection and on repeated listenings, you can hear a lot of thoughtfulness in the arrangements. But when you pop this sick pup in the first time, just grab your neck brace and get ready to bang your head until it falls off because this record is a murderous assault from word one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Ways to the Grave
Though this is quite a good track, I would actually say it is the least impressive on show. It's a bit more melodic and less completely brutal than some of the other material. Still, you can hear that they've got that crushing guitar production down pat and Mikael's vocals are just awesome.
As You Die
This is more what the album is about. It rips along fast and furious and the vocal lines are very catchy despite being sung in the voice of a rotting corpse. After the chorus, there is a chugging riff pattern that is so much like classic Swedish death metal that it will bring a bloody tear to your eye. This is a great aggressive track!
Mass Strangulation
This reminded me of classic Grave from their "Soulless" album. This is a crawling, mid-paced skull crusher with a very evil and morbid feel to it. The guitar is at its most brutal and distorted here, but there's some very cool and original lead work going on as well.
Death Delirium
Kind of an epic number, this is a bit more complex than the other tracks and therefore recalling the more ambitious tunes of Dismember. You will never hear a heavier or more morbid riff than on the chorus...outstanding!
Buried by the Dead
A simple and direct cruncher based on catchy, mid-paced guitar hooks, this has a very classic feel to it. Mikael's vocals are extremely grim as they relate lyrics like "Buried by the Dead/Their hands are white and cold".
The Soulcollector
This starts with melody but soon turns into a speedy belter with good fast paced picking. I really dig some of the Middle Eastern sounding guitar touches on this one.
Bathe In Blood
The most complex and ambitious track on the album, this goes through several different feels. It starts with moderate crunch speed but then takes off into some extremely doomy and morbid riffs. There are great variation in lead guitar sound from Anders.
Trail of Insects
This quirky number is one of the lesser cuts on the disc. Still brutal and heavy, it lacks some of the memorability of the other tunes.
Like Fire
This is just pure death metal power, chugging forth like a steadily advancing tank. Very catchy riffs and again I can't praise Akerfeldt's sick vocals enough as they talk about "my morbid fascination with the dead" and proclaim "I am the ruler of the earth and sky". This is a killer cut with a cool descending hook on the finish.
Cry My Name
This incorporates a bit of the more modern Gothenburg death metal sound and mixes it with the classic early 90's tone. The lead work is more pronounced, though not overdone as it is with so many of the newer bands, and there's an attempt made at melody. It's a good melodic death metal track.
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