Bloodbath - The Fathomless Mastery review

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Album Art
Album Art


General Information

Original Author: Steiner666

Artist: Bloodbath

Album: The Fathomless Mastery

Year: 2008

Record Label: Peaceville Records

Genre: Death Metal

Track Listing

1. "At the Behest of Their Death" - Fast and heavy, some nice lead fills and harmonic screams

2. "Process of Disillumination" - A nice sort of Sabbath-ish riff here, but TBH, sounds kinda.. samey

3. "Slaughtering The Will to Live" - Heavy with some nice grooves that will get your head movin

4. "Mock the Cross" - This would probably have to be my favorite track on the album, it's right up there with personal favorites "Eaten" and "So You Die" as being the best Bloodbath tracks to growl along with. Cool outro sounds, which I'm always a sucker for.

5. "Treasonous" - Another favorite on this album. A very ugly (but in a good death metal way) yet somewhat melodic song, I like the vocals and guitar.. in the later half of the song especially.

6. "Iesous" - A very powerful-sounding song with some really simple yet heavy riffs that might just make you fiend for a nice violent mosh pit

7. "Drink From the Cup of Heresy" - A nice solo is all that really stands out in this track.

8. "Devouring the Feeble" - A good, heavy track with a good solo

9. "Earthrot" - The first half is sort of samey, but the second has some cool sounding guitarwork

10. "Hades Rising" - My second favorite on the album, the guitar melodies are pretty unique, especially the outro. Good solos here also. Actually, the more I listen to this track the more I start to think that it might just be my favorite. The outro might get lodged firmly in your head for a day or two '

11. "Wretched Human Mirror" - Heavy with a cool mellow outro

Sound: 9/10

The production on this album is very good, better than some of the bands previous releases. There's nothing to complain about here. All the instruments and the vocals sound great and the mixing was done well. A professional-sounding album. It might just be my preference as a guitarist, but I think the guitars could have been a tad bit louder, the drums and vocals sometimes come together and blot out the riffs, but not too much to really complain about... this is nit-picking definitely. I think that a large part of the occasional indistinguishable moments is thanks to both the low tuning of the guitars and the less-than-satisfactory low-end frequency response of the headphones that I listen to music on a majority of the time when I am out and about. I'm certain that these songs would sound much better live or on a good stereo system.

Guitarwork: 8/10

This is definitely death metal. Low-tuned (drop Bb I believe is the bands normal tuning), simple, ugly and heavy riffs with some more complex and melodic elements tossed in sparingly for a bit of contrast. There isn't anything too terribly genius or revolutionary about the guitarwork on this album, but that's not to say that none of it stands out. It's evil and brutal and therefore it fits the bill. The tone of the guitar is also much better than in certain past releases.

Vocals: 10/10

This is where personal preference pervades. The lyrics are largely indistinguishable to most listeners most of the time. When words are intelligible, the message that comes through is one of violence, death, and anti-christian themes. While I love the mentioned themes, those of different beliefs and an overly-serious attitude on the matters could quickly become offended by just simply reading down the tracklist. In all fairness, this is DEATH metal, and no one that picks up the album should be shocked by the content in this area.

Mikael Åkerfeldt has long been my favorite vocalist and he delivers exactly what you'd expect. Very strong, brutal growls from the beginning of the first track to the end of the last with nothing else in between.

Overall Impression: 8/10

I had been anticipating the next full-length album from this band for some time, and "The Fathomless Mastery" did not leave me disappointed. It's fast, heavy, and brutal and only very rarely slows of softens. Of course this could draw complaints from different listeners who like a wider and more dynamic range of tempo, feeling and emotion in their music (such as Åkerfeldt's other band). Personally, I love all sorts of metal, slow and doomy, fast and frantic, melodic, brutal, but my mainstay has always been pure death metal, which is what Bloodbath have always set their sights on and continue to nail. Even so, I must concede that there are some weaker songs that do nothing new or remarkable and are occasionally hard to distinguish from eachother or past Bloodbath songs. I think the biggest culprit in these death metal deja vu moments is the percussion. While there is nothing wrong with Axenrot's drumwork, and I think he is a great drummer, there just isn't enough variation to it on this album. While there are many other bands that are even more guilty of this, the blastbeat is a bit overused here.

Even with the minor gripes that I have with this album, I still think that it is a very worthy purchase and highly recommend it to anyone who just wants some good old brutal death metal. I give it an overall 8/10.

For more information on the album or the band in general, head over to the new "Fathomless Mastery" minisite here, or check out the bands myspace here.

To order the album, go to the official Bloodbath store here.