"Nightmares Made Flesh"

(Century Media)

01. Cancer of the Soul
02. Brave New Hell
03. Soul Evisceration
04. Outnumbering the Day
05. Feeding the Undead
06. Eaten
07. Bastard Son of God
08. Year of the Cadaver Race
09. The Ascension
10. Draped in Disease
11. Stillborn Saviour
12. Blood Vortex
13. Breeding Death (demo)
14. Ominous Bloodvomit (demo)

RATING: 8/10

My experience with death metal "supergroups" this past year has been 50/50: MURDER SQUAD's "Ravenous Murderous" rules, GOD AMONG INSECTS' "World Wide Death" blows. The winning percentage shoots up with BLOODBATH's "Nightmares Made Flesh". But then, did you really expect anything less from Dan Swanö's death metal juggernaut, a band that released the "Breeding Death" EP and "Resurrection through Carnage" to much fanfare?

The lineup has changed; the quality level of the group's classic Swedish death metal sound has not. This time around the vocals are handled by HYPOCRISY's Peter Tägtgren, his growls and screams always convincing and more versatile than Mikael Åkerfeldt (at least in this realm), even though I've got a slight personal preference for the OPETH frontman's style. Swanö has left his kit behind, moving to guitar and making room for new drummer Martin Axenrot (WITCHERY, SATANIC SLAUGHTER).

As for the music, "Nightmares Made Flesh" is of course one for the DISMEMBER and (old) ENTOMBED fans, perhaps the UNLEASHED and GRAVE devotees as well. Like KAAMOS' "Lucifer Rising", it's not that "Nightmares Made Flesh" is cutting edge or even moderately original. It's simply a fine representation of the genre with top-notch songwriting, pitch-black atmosphere, and some absolutely wicked guitar work. The band's higher profile and album's slicker production aside (characteristics that don't sway me one way or the other), I've got to give the nod to "Nightmares Made Flesh" in a neck-and-neck race with "Lucifer Rising" in the songwriting department. The blasting and axe slaughter is above reproach, yet it's the catchy choruses on tracks like album openers "Cancer of the Soul" and "Brave New Hell" (two of the best) that gets me every time. The pace change-ups and arrangement variety (across 12 original tunes, no less) makes the album that much stronger. The sickening slow-to-mid-tempo ooze that is "Eaten" not only serves as the perfect mid-point — providing a break from the breakneck stuff — but I had to chuckle at the lyrics describing one man's life-long desire to be devoured (a real-life case if I remember correctly). Two bonus demo tracks from the "Breeding Death" sessions (featuring Åkerfeldt's lead vocals) are a treat, and the sound quality is strong on both. Nothing here will surprise you. "Nightmares Made Flesh" is just well-written, superbly performed Swedish-style death metal.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).