Friday, September 5, 2008

Bloodbath - Unblessing The Purity

Bloodbath have unleashed upon our virgin ears a deadly force composed of rotting remains and reanimated souls. There is no doubt in my mind that this is what modern death metal is meant to sound like - crushing, relentless and yet blessed with embalming melodies. Relentlessly Swedish in every way, Unblessing the Purity is demanding of attention. Demanding those who claim death metal has no new gold to pan retract their statements and grab their pick-axes.

The combination of Anders Nystrom and Per Eriksson is awesome. They manage to create some brilliant harmonies and riffs. The album would have benefited from a slightly dirtier, rawer guitar sound however and at times, I am wondering if the Katatonia relation has had an impact on the choice of guitar tone. Martin's drumming is tight and expertly played though, as I normally feel of his work ultimately un-noteworthy. Jonas Renske is soon becoming one of my personal favorite bass players. His rich tone on this album really helps dirty up moments that would sound tame and possibly empty (bass section in Sick Salvation).

Blasting The Virginborn reminds me of Grave mixed with Iniquity-esque tricks and treats. The ghoulish and haunting intermission is somehow more deadly than the fierce main riff. While the main riff leaves a single bullet in your skull, the subtlety of the slow, drowning interlude is more akin to being slowly crippled with disease. Eaten by maggots, you watch your own limbs fester and fall away. Weak Aside is torturous. Hidden amongst the rich tones are staccato bursts of shrapnel. Akerfeldt's vocals leave me wondering why he doesn't do Bloodbath full time instead of Opeth. He is clearly having a good time cleaning out his esophagus and sounds refreshed.

Sick Salvation blasts as well, though it has one condemnation - that being the inclusion of what I would consider a novelty transition halfway into the song. It seems like Bloodbath took the easy way across that particular moment. I would have like to hear something more in line with their abilities. The wicked solos and leads constituting the ending of the track work double time afterwards though. I think that my displeasure for the transition comes from a general annoyance on my part of each song having some segment of a slower melodic moment. Neither of the four songs really crush on straight through. Luckily for Bloodbath, these segments are not ill received as they are expertly written and consistently fluid however that small irksome quality is, nevertheless, there.

Mouth of Empty Praise seals the coffin for me. It may be my love of twisted rhythms in death metal but this song has some twisted fucking shit - like an evacuating centrifugal test-subject forgotten in his cage, gravitational forces crushing his internal structures. The empty chanting and fly buzzing closing the album is one of the more unique outro's an album has divulged in my listening years. I appreciate the mood setting of the outro and find it suits the song as well as the album.

No comments: