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Bloodbath - The Fathomless Mastery (CD)

The Fathomless Mastery
by Yiannis Doukas at 15 October 2008, 9:03 AM

Most of Metal fans surely know this 'all star' Sweden's band that started around 1999 with purpose to play old-school Death Metal. The Breeding Death mini album they released in 2000 had some very nice 'beginning of 90s' music in the vein of ENTOMBED and the rest. The same happened after two years with the full-debut Resurrection Through Carnage and many people believe that these two discs are probably their best. In 2004 and with Nightmares Made Flesh, it is easy to notice a move into a more American style of Death Metal together with the coming of Peter Tagtgren behind the microphone, replacing Mikael Akerfeldt who wanted more concentration with his main project OPETH. Although the whole change Nightmares had some extreme stuff really well-played and ground breaking but it cannot be compared with the first one.
Four years of silence was interrupted with a gig in Wacken Open Air in 2005…and we are arriving in 2008 and together with the change of company, from Century Media to Peaceville, BLOODBATH offers us three releases. The before mentioned gig named as The Wacken Carnage, an EP containing four new songs, Unblessing The Purity, and a very new album that will be adumbrated below. It is also worth to say that Dan Swano is no more with the band, being replaced by the ex-guitar tech Per Eriksson.
As you can see The Fathomless Mastery was a highly anticipated album since musicians like Nystrom or Renkse are not only very talented and skilled but also with great legacy behind. On the other hand, the return of Akerfeldt's throat is surely guarantee, we are talking for one of the best Death Metal voices similar enough to Dave Vincent's in albums like Covenant or Domination. Including elements like these this album cannot be bad and can reach an acceptable level of satisfaction. And all these happen really but the band cannot go further. Maybe the expectations were in top levels but the whole result it is difficult to say that justifies the decision of making a new recording. Most songs looks very fragile, with some farraginous riffing inside that deters from a clear and solid structure.
The best moments are those that remind the band's origin land and the complete removal into an amalgam of 90% of MORBID ANGEL and 10% of CANNIBAL CORPSE is in many parts a little disappointing. On the other is really difficult to understand why a band like this and with such musicians sometimes plays riffs extremely close to the Cthulhu masters. If this is like a tribute or a kind of releasing their Metal madness can be understood and is total respectful but it is not necessary to record it and to offer it to people although it must be mentioned that even in these parts they maintain to keep their Swedish aura and some of them are in full adrenaline.
For example, Mock The Cross starts like Where The Slime Lives and then it transforms into something like a hidden Covenant track. Good, really, besides we are talking about something that reminds the ultimate Death Metal band, it cannot be bad, but personally I wanted more personality inside. And that goes to the most of the new tracks. The best moments are the old-school Drink From The Cup Of Heresy, that is like coming from their old works, the bell's knocking after the ending of Mock The Cross, a very creepy deadly part like also the middle of Earthrot which reminds the same of Furnace Funeral and the accordingly moments of old ENTOMBED.
All the before mentioned songs are composed by the new guitarist Per Eriksson, showing his song writing talent but also that he is the perfect person for Swano's replacement, which is a difficult stead. One other killer track is Blakkheim's Treasonous, that has a muck refrain with the voice of Akerfeldt giving to it a more miasma of a marsh.
The Fathomless Mastery is of those albums that is good to be in your collection but you will not listen to for very long. And this, not because it is bad quality or shit music but for standing right in the standard position that you may expected without giving anything more.

3 Star Rating

At The Behest Of Their Death
Process Of Disillumination
Slaughtering The Will To Live
Mock The Cross
Drink From The Cup Of heresy
Devouring The Feeble
Hades Rising
Wretched Human Mirror
Anders Nystrom - Guitars
Jonas Renkse - Bass
Mikael Akerfeldt - Vocals
Martin Axenrot - Drums
Per Eriksson - Guitars
Record Label: Peaceville Records


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