"Survival of the Sickest"
On their sixth album, Swedish supergroup Bloodbath take us back to death metal’s heyday. “With ‘Survival of the Sickest’, our target has been locked in for death metal’s prime time that took place between 1988 and 1992,” guitarist Anders Nyström (also of Katatonia) tells Apple Music. “We’ve picked up all the traditional traits and goodies that came out of the classic US scene and brought them back to the future. The result is an album full of old-school madness powered by modern production values.” Indeed, Nyström and his bandmates—bassist Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), drummer Martin Axenrot (ex-Opeth/Witchery), guitarist Tomas Åkvik (Lik), and English vocalist Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost)—have carved off a snarling array of choice cuts inspired by death metal’s humid origins. “If there was a declaration of goods attached to this album, it would simply say, ‘Florida death metal, exported from Sweden,’” Nyström says. Below, vocalist Nick Holmes encapsulates each track. “Zombie Inferno” “A galloping thrash assault, a race against the undead! In this instance, zombies that run fast—as opposed to the slower ones who shamble along at idle speed.” “Putrefying Corpse” (feat. Barney Greenway) “The progress of humans with a soul and humility eventually just becomes nothing more than meat for animals.” “Dead Parade” “All those unhappy in life die, rise, and finally find true happiness in being undead.” “Malignant Maggot Therapy” “Lyrically, it’s about the disposal of a corpse with the help of maggots, which will make the body dissolve into an unrecognizable mess.” “Carved” (feat. Luc Lemay) “A hard-hitting, mid-paced number with a memorable chorus. A sadistic surgeon makes his darkest dream a reality by slowly torturing a human into an unrelenting and painful death.” “Born Infernal” (feat. Luc Lemay) “Along the lines of The Omen story—literally, I guess. Satan is born into humankind and then crushes the Christian faith from within, building an army over years to finally destroy all faith in good.” “To Die” (feat. Marc Grewe) “This is all about obituary worship. The lyrics are what the title implies: what it’s like to die.” “Affliction of Extinction” “Satan has taken over the world with a huge invasion from his dead army, cursing mankind with death, disease, and plagues.” “Tales of Melting Flesh” “Something lurking in the cellar waiting to burst out and turn all mankind into pulp—or at least people in the closest vicinity.” “Environcide” “The lyrics deal with devious warfare—surrounding the enemy, destroying their environment, shutting down any chance of survival, and slaughtering them.” “No God Before Me” “A very dark and heavy song with lyrics describing a journey through a dismal afterlife, gradually showcasing the image of hell.”