Bloodbath – “The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn” (Peaceville Records)
Oh wow, if you love the old school, be it Swe-deth or British death metal, then you’re gonna kill fer this!!! Formed in the late 90s, Bloodbath is a super group featuring none other than Martin Axenrot (Opeth), Anders Nyström (Katatonia), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost) and now, the addition of new guitarist Joakim Karlsson of Swedish black metal plague Craft. Reflective of their pedigree, the group have already released 4 full-length albums, 2 EPs, 2 DVDs and now comes this Boss HM-2 driven monster made even more awesome by contributions from Carcass’ Jeff Walker, Memoriam singer Karl Willetts and Cancer’s John Walker all lending their larynx’s to the filthy, chundering buzzsaw madness on show across the 10 bloody tracks here. Ecstatically mixing the winning sounds of early Dismember with the brutal grind of Bolt Thrower, “The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn” takes these pioneering underground styles and puts them through a top class performance from the legendary names here to create an album few could’ve ever dreamed for. Don’t be expecting anything vaguely resembling the bands from whence these dudes came, for this is dirty trench warfare, pure and simple. From the utterly raging ‘Bloodicide’ featuring the cream of British old school death metal roaring unto the blasting furore mixing driller killer riffs with shimmering metallic melodies and the devastating distortion heavy bass of Jonas Renkse, the evil twisting grooves and buzzsaw insanity will have you immediately spazzing out like electric shock therapy – yes!!!!! Fans of death n roll will be equally shaking dementedly to the aptly titled ‘Warhead Ritual’ with its thick, rolled riffs while Martin Axenrot’s relentless drum attack will atom smash you as the twin guitars launch fast thrash solos unflappably to ‘Old’ Nick Holmes battlefield roars – totally fast n furious. Best track for me was the massively epic ‘March Of The Crucifiers’ with its barrage sound of the entire band firing on all cylinders through piston double bass drumming, squeaking guitars and Renkse’s deadly bass causing huge waves of chundering groove through rhythmic tempo variations topped off by some exotic soloing – total death man. A elite level release, “The Arrow of Satan Is Drawn” is a true tribute to the days of old.