Unite In Pain (Part II) – Anders Nystrom from Bloodbath

It has been a most eventful year in the Bloodbath camp, with a brand new album in Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville) and the shocking and welcome news of Nick Holmes taking the chalice left by Mikael Akerfeldt and returning to his Death Metal roots. In the first of a two part feature, Anders Nystrom chatted to Ghost Cult about the change in their ranks, and his thoughts on the new generation of listeners who may not know or understand the Bloodbath heritage…

 

Ester Segarra

What is apparent is Grand Morbid Funeral is less technically orientated and a much more primal and, ahem, morbid offering than its predecessor The Fathomless Mastery (Peaceville). This does point towards the influence of Nick Holmes’ addition to the fold, bearing in mind his work with doom maestro’s Paradise Lost and of course their debut and death metal classic, Lost Paradise (Peaceville).

Just by having Nick singing on top of brutal, heavy death metal is going to make it sound naturally like the first Paradise Lost album. The elements are so similar in some ways that it’s going to be a big nostalgic ride to go back to that era.

“It’s hard to say who approached who but it originated from Katatonia and Paradise Lost being on tour together and we were sitting down just having a laugh, having a good time, sharing memories from the old days… and these kind of nights became more and more frequent, and out of that some kind of idea was formed which opened the door for Nick to go back into those years and being able to perform growls again.

“We said we have this side project and we were thinking of the new album and making it really old school and you would be a perfect fit for it.”

In hindsight judging from Grand Morbid Funeral, any notion that Holmes may not have been up to task seem ridiculous; but being away from harsh vocals for so long it surely was understandable for their to be doubts about his capabilities…

“I guess in the back of your mind there was a little bit of hesitation but we kind of killed that really early on. I actually said just like any other singer out there he should audition (laughs). We actually sent him instrumental versions of old songs which he demoed his vocals on and sent back. Based on this we knew what we had coming, this killed all the hesitation and we were all convinced that this was right on what we wanted.”

 

 

Of course there was some backlash to his arrival in place of Akerfeldt,

“I think some of the more conservative fans, they would have just preferred Mike to stay, but you can’t force someone to be a part of a band who has altogether lost his interest for death metal. When that interest decays you have to be true to yourself, otherwise you’re going to be a fraud, a hypocrite. It’s not fair to yourself, it’s not fair to the band and it’s not fair to the fans, if you’re doing something where your heart isn’t in it anymore.”

“One thing that I wasn’t expecting was that some people didn’t even know who Nick Holmes was, and if you don’t know who one of the leading, legendary bands who were there in the roots then you really need to do your homework of metal history.

“It just shows that there is a big gap in the generation and with people growing up these days, the way they treat things is just very lazy how they haven’t gone back and traced their steps and see where its all coming from. If I were in their shoes, im always very jealous because it’s a new world to discover, there’s so much good stuff that they are missing just waiting for them to find.

“You have this thing called Spotify, and of course as a customer it’s a perfect thing, you pay one subscription and you get everything streamed for free but at the end of the day, for me I can see the comfort but I see a lack of magic in that. Theres nothing spiritual about listening to a stream for me, I don’t find myself in position I want. If I buy and album ive paid hard earned money into, I can hold it and I know I own it.

“Nothing says you can’t have both. Life, if you’re on the move then sure, have your Spotify, you can’t take a turntable on a fucking flight.

So, yeah, use your Spotify and itunes but please, keep your collections!”

 

 

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Words by CHRIS TIPPELL

Blakkheim’s All Time Death Metal Classics

To celebrate the release of Bloodbath‘s excellent new album Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville) Anders Nystrom (aka Blakkheim) talked us through his ultimate all time Top 5 Death Metal albums (and couldn’t resist sneaking in a sixth…)

 

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Entombed – Left Hand Path (Earache) “It features the guitar tone pedal called Boss HM-2 and that’s enough said. That pedal represents the ultimate guitar tone in the world so if you want to discover where that came from then this is the album to go to.”

 

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Morbid Angel – Altars Of Madness (Earache) “Probably the classic Death Metal album of all time; where every band, directly or indirectly, draws their influence from. It’s pretty much what started the whole thing. I’m not saying it necessarily needs to be the best in their discography but it’s definitely the essential choice.”

 

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Autopsy – Mental Funeral (Peaceville) “It represents a very morbid side of death metal; it’s sludgy, rotten to the bone and very dark. It also shows it’s not just about production values, you can also create magic with Death Metal by going more primitive and having imperfection as your guide.”

 

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Dismember- Like An Ever Flowing Stream (Nuclear Blast) “This is pretty much up there with Left Hand Path. It’s a little bit more underrated, they always came under the shadow of Entombed, but the song writing on that album is amazing and the production is at its peak and represents Sunlight Studio in Stockholm at its very best. The whole album is very much worth buying just for the opening riff of the first track ‘Override Of The Overture’ that riff is one of my all-time favourites. If you could just bring one Death Metal riff into space for an alien to discover it would be that one.”

 

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Deicide – Deicide (Roadrunner) “At this stage, there was no band as outrageous and controversial, they were outspoken Satanists and this album really shows it. It wasn’t just talk, they were living it. It’s a demonic album, it’s a very violent death metal album and it’s also representative of the whole Florida scene.”

 

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Obituary – Slowly We Rot (Roadrunner) “This comes down as well to Obituary, again an album that is almost loose in a way, it also has a hilarious lack of lyrical tendency! A lot of the growls on this album are made up of just sounds, which was an insane idea to start with. It has a really big Celtic Frost influence, so is good for people to go back with.”

 

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CHRIS TIPPELL

 

Unite In Pain (Part I) – Anders Nystrom of Bloodbath

It has been a most eventful year in the Bloodbath camp, with a brand new album in Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville) and the shocking and welcome news of Nick Holmes taking the chalice left by Mikael Akerfeldt and returning to his Death Metal roots. In the first of a two part feature, Anders Nystrom chatted to Ghost Cult about how the new album came together…

 

 

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“It’s basically an impossible task to get all the members of the band together, that’s probably why it is six years between the last release and this one. Just scheduling, booking studio time, and getting everyone together is one crazy mission. Even though one member may be available another won’t be, and when he is available the first one isn’t and it’s just a never ending cycle, an impossible journey.

Bloodbath has never been the kind of band that needs to be a collective unit with the same spark to write because we always divided the composition individually between us anyway. The way things work is we make a conscious effort to have group sitting down first and deciding what the vibe is going to be, making sure everyone is on the same page, and once we are we can pretty much fuck off you know?”

 

Despite the immense difficulty in finding moments of writing, the process itself was relatively quick once the foundations had been made.

“Real writing started January this year, and I think I heard demos from everyone within a few weeks. So, yeah, it took a month, but it’s something we had been planning since six years ago, like lyrical ideas, conceptual ideas that sort of thing, but the actual songs weren’t until January this year.”

 

Ester Segarra

 

Grand Morbid Funeral shows a departure from their previous album…

“There were certain elements we wanted to pursue, like a certain approach on the album we hadn’t done fully on an earlier album which was basically to make it way more organic, way more raw, stop overdoing things, stop editing things to death and just go old school. That also involved taking things down a notch. I think the more sludgy, doomier and heavier approach of death metal goes better hand in hand with that kind of sound. Also the last album was a pretty technical affair and we wanted to do something different opposed to that as well.

“We are like a chameleon in a sense, we can change on each album and do something that we like that reflects different kinds of death metal, so no I was never really worried but I kind of expected a bacjlash to happen but it doesn’t bother me, I am so proud and so excited about the album that I can’t be bothered about it”.

 

How do you feel the fans have taken to a Bloodbath without Mikael?

“I think some of the more conservative fans, they would have just preferred Mike to stay, but you can’t force someone to be a part of a band who has altogether lost his interest for death metal. When that interest decays you have to be true to yourself, otherwise you’re going to be a fraud, a hypocrite. It’s not fair to yourself, it’s not fair to the band and it’s not fair to the fans, if you’re doing something where your heart isn’t in it anymore.”

 

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Words by CHRIS TIPPELL

 

 

Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral

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As far as supergroups go, few come more awesome than Stockholm’s Bloodbath. Formed as a hobby by Katatonia members Anders Nystrom and Jonas Renske along with Opeth mainman Mikael Akerfeldt and producer extraordinaire Dan Swano back in 1998 with the simple desire to pump out some filthy old school death metal, it’s unlikely they ever would have expected to become one of the biggest and most well respected bands in the scene, although given their combined status the result was pretty much a foregone conclusion.

After releasing three blood-splattered and evil sounding albums but having to deal with the departure of Akerfeldt and Swano, some might have expected these veterans to stop playing with the corpse and allow it to rot in peace. However the desire to riff fast and ugly is a strong one and a new vocalist has been found in Paradise Lost frontman Nick Holmes whose new role is elementary (I can’t believe you just did that – Ed [and I can’t believe you wrote an ‘Ed insert’ for me – Dep Ed]) given his growling performance on PL’s classic debut record Lost Paradise (Peaceville).

But is Old Nick’s presence behind the mike enough to ensure Bloodbath remain deadly in a scene rife with sharp-eyed competition? One listen to Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville) proves the answer is an emphatic, bellowed yes!

As the serrated riffs of opening track ‘Let the Stillborn Come to Me’ tear out of the speakers like an escaped serial killer on his way to a nearby summer camp, the primal fury of Death Metal is fully revealed in full-blooded, hate-filled form and as the track settles into a disgusting Dismember-esque groove, you’re reminded just how much this music kicks ass and lops off heads with abandon. The buzzsaw guitar sound, as much a part of the Swe-death scene as any notable record you could care to mention, is heavily evident in the marching attack of ‘Total Death Exhumed’ which also features some suitably gloomy lead-work, while the ramshackle chugging of ‘Anne’ evokes images of a demented butcher manically hacking apart corpses in some benighted slaughterhouse.

Bloodbath records have always relied on frantic pace and aggression to get their gruesome message across and while they may lack the precision of Cannibal Corpse or the bad-time grooves of latter day Entombed, their modus operandi is built on a basis of seeing how many people they can kill in the room with a rusty chainsaw before the police take them down, rather than methodically picking off victims. It’s a messy approach, aided by a suitably grimy production but which gives proceedings a rabid and unclean feel, and when they do slow things down slightly such as on the gut-wrenching crawl of ‘Church of Vastitas’ and the grotesque melodies of the title track, the atmosphere drops to especially ghastly levels of hopelessness.

Nystrom and fellow axeman Per Eriksson focus more on tearing our minds apart with a seemingly endless selection of slashing riffs, gloomy melodies and frantic solos while drummer Martin Axenrot flays the skins with an unfussy, methodical determination. Holmes may not have the deepest growl and he is buried too deep in the mix to have a massive impact but his sinister tones give the music a depraved grandeur and when all of these elements combine like on the unrestrained ferocity of ‘Famine of God’s World’ and the monstrous ‘Beyond Cremation’ you’ll be wishing that all the members quit their day jobs and focus on pumping out more of this filth every other year.

There’s enough elements of the US death metal scene to ensure that this isn’t just a caricature of the Stockholm sound, but it’s undeniable that Bloodbath are to all intents and purposes a nostalgia act and a way for a bunch of blokes nearing their 40s to act like they were teenagers again. But some of the best death metal albums were made by whippersnappers so as long as this bunch of morbid Swedes and one ghoulish Brit keep failing to act their age, the world of extreme metal will stay suitably macabre.

 

7.5/10

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JAMES CONWAY

Bloodbath Releases First Single, New Album Draws Nigh

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After recent announcement of Bloodbath‘s forthcoming new album Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records), and the announcement of Paradise Lost vocalist Nick Holmes as the new front man, the band have released the first single ‘Unite In Pain’.

 

Listen to the track now:

https://soundcloud.com/peaceville/bloodbath-unite-in-pain-from-bloodbath-grand-morbid-funeral

 

 

 

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From The Press Release:

Sweden’s masters of horror, Bloodbath who are set to release their fourth album of supreme death metal – Grand Morbid Funeral on 17th November 2014 through Peaceville Records have unveiled a new track titled ‘Unite in Pain’ which features new vocalist Nick Holmes.

https://soundcloud.com/peaceville/bloodbath-unite-in-pain-from-bloodbath-grand-morbid-funeral

Blakkheim (guitars):Unite In Pain is a very “straight to the death metal bone” kinda song. A morbid cry out to the old school past when things were kept simple but effective. Take the legs of Slayer, the feet of Entombed, the arms of Bathory, the hands of Death and piece them together with the severed head of Bloodbath, shovel a HM-2 pedal down its throat and face the gore, once more!’

Nick Holmes (vocals):The original lyrical content for Unite In Pain was about the human need to wish for a peaceful death without suffering, so I tried to reverse this where only a painful end would suffice. The lyrics were sent to me direct from His Unholyness, and some of the words got lost in translation for ancient Latin to American English.’

The band have also released the full track-listing for Grand Morbid Funeral:

1) Let The Stillborn Come To Me

2) Total Death Exhumed

3) Anne

4) Church Of Vastitas

5) Famine Of God`s Word

6) Mental Abortion

7) Beyond Cremation

8) His Infernal Necropsy

9) Unite In Pain

10) My Torturer

11) Grand Morbid Funeral

Bloodbath is a titan of death metal from Stockholm, Sweden, notable for the inclusion of Katatonia ,Opeth and now Paradise Lost members. Following the departure of Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and months of speculation and rumour, Nick Holmes was announced as the new vocalist of Bloodbath earlier this month.

Formed in 1998 with a mutual fascination for horror & the glory days of death metal (especially the old Florida & Stockholm ‘Sunlight’ scenes), the band has remained a leading light of extreme metal since their Breeding Death EP was unleashed back in 2000, and a formidable force for 15 years, further cemented by their devastating – and most successful album to date – ‘The Fathomless Mastery’ in 2008.

Recorded once again at Ghost Ward Studios and the City of Glass Studios in Stockholm, and mixed by David Castillo, ‘Grand Morbid Funeral’, Bloodbath’s fourth full-length studio release, is undoubtedly the band’s darkest and dirtiest opus yet; an organic collection of filth-ridden tracks straight from the grave, boldly eschewing the approach of somewhat over-produced modern death metal in favour of something altogether more rotten to the bone. 

With eerie doom-like melodies mixed with raw and savage riffing, and featuring a number of guest appearances including Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler from US gore-masters Autopsy, ‘Grand Morbid Funeral’ is a new high-point of brutality for Bloodbath.

Bloodbath is set to appear on a string of festivals throughout 2015, including Inferno festival (Norway), Neurotic Deathfest (The Netherlands) and Maryland Deathfest (USA) with more tba.

 

Pre-order the album now via:

O-Merch http://www.omerch.eu/shop/bloodbath/

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Nick Holmes Is The New Front Man Of Bloodbath!

bloodbath 2014 new lineup

 

Death metal supergroup Bloodbath has finally revealed their new front man to be legendary Paradise Lost front man Nick Holmes. Long admired for his great vocal delivery and genius lyricism, this seems like an inspired choice. Their fourth album Grand Morbid Funeral will be released on the Peaceville label on November 18th. This announcement comes on the heels of Opeth‘s Mikael Akerfeldt retiring from the band to focus on his main group and other projects.

 

 

 

From The Press Release:

Stockholm, SE – Sweden’s master of horror, Bloodbath – notable for the inclusion of Katatonia and Opeth members – is set to release its fourth album of supreme death metal,Grand Morbid Funeral, onNovember 18through Peaceville Records. Following the departure of Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and months of speculation and rumor,Metal Hammer(U.K.) has revealed Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes as the new vocalist of Bloodbath.

Blakkheim (guitar) commented, “Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic Lost Paradise, or the genre defining Gothic, and yet here we are decades later fulfilling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it’s an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in Bloodbath’s Grand Morbid Funeral!”


Jonas Renkse (bass) commented, “Ever since I got into 
Lost Paradise back in ’90, Nick Holmes has been one of my favorite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!”

bloodbath album covwer

Recorded once again at Ghost Ward Studios and the City of Glass Studios in Stockholm, and mixed by David Castillo,  Grand Morbid Funeral is undoubtedly the band’s darkest and dirtiest opus yet; an organic collection of filth-ridden tracks straight from the grave, boldly eschewing the approach of somewhat over-produced modern death metal in favor of something altogether more rotten to the bone.

With eerie, doom-like melodies mixed with raw and savage riffing, and featuring a number of guest appearances including Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler from U.S. gore-master, Autopsy, Grand Morbid Funeral is a new high-point of brutality for Bloodbath.

Bloodbath online…

www.peaceville.com

www.facebook.com/bloodbathband