Back in April we all heard that Mikael Akerfeldt was no longer the vocalist for Bloodbath. Rumors quickly stormed over the social media and spitfire when they announced a new studio record for a mid-November release, yet keeping in a secretive aura who would be undertaking the position as the band’s frontman on vocals.
However recently, Sweden’s masters of horror Bloodbath – which are known for featuring in their rank musicians of infamous darkened splendid act Katatonia (namely Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström) and utopian Opeth (this time with Martin Axenrot) – just revealed their lead singer, and it’s none other than Paradise Lost’s frontman, Nick Holmes.
Eventually, after some period of waiting, Bloodbath decides to announce their newest recruitment, which for many of us, remains as an enigmatic choice considering that Nick Holmes career quickly unfold from death metal to gothic metal throughout the years, generating some relentless controversy as well as meditation. Seen him as the successor to frontmen Peter Tägtren and Mikael Åkerfeldt put us in an unease state of mind, leading us to hold our breath and patiently wait for a single premiere to either confirm if it was either a wise, or a disastrous election.
As a parallel, it might please many the devolution of Nick Holmes voice from clean, sorrowful, yet melodic gothic lines that are so peculiar nowadays in recent works of Paradise Lost, to the earlier era of the band when he used to sing with cavernous growls, typically associate with the elderly days of the death metal rising back then. Something we will suffer to confirm on their forthcoming new studio record entitled ‘Grand Morbid Funeral’, which is ready for dismissal on November 17th via Peaceville Records. The collective effort features guest appearances by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler from guttering death metal machinery, Autopsy. This will be their first studio album since 2008’s ‘The Fathomless Mastery’.
Ever since I got into ‘Lost Paradise’ back in 1990, Nick Holmes has been one of my favourite 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!
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.
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!
Bloodbath is a titan of death metal from Stockholm, Sweden, notable for the inclusion of Katatonia, Opeth and now Paradise Lost members. Formed in 1998 with a mutual fascination for horror and the glory days of death metal (especially the old Florida and 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.
Bloodbath is set to appear on a string of festivals throughout 2015, including Inferno Festival (Norway), Neurotic Deathfest (The Netherlands) and Maryland Deathfest (United States), with more to be announced.
Now that we all know who will be leading the vocal duties, the studio record title and date of release, all that is willed to hear is the new material arriving from the Bloodbath. It is coming via Peaceful Records, one of the oldest and most respectable record companies out there, thus you better stay tuned and get ready, because having Nick Holmes handling the vocals, this might be a hell of a surprise, or in their own words; “destructive, raw, heavy, organic and sludgy death metal.”