The Fathomless Mastery review by Bloodbath

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  • Released: Oct 6, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9.6 (73 votes)
Bloodbath: The Fathomless Mastery
1

Sound — 8
I bought this album the day it was released, feeling as much as any other doting Bloodbath fan the excitement of 11 new tracks from the Swedish supergroup. I can say I've listened to it countless times since that day, and my verdict? Well... When it's good, it's very very good. There are some really damn cool parts on this album, parts you can't help but nod your head to and smile stupidly to yourself at. Some of the coolest grooves I've heard this year reside on this CD: the beginning of Devouring the Feeble and one of the post-chorus bridges to Slaughtering the Will to Live to name but a few. But. This album also has it's bland moments. Enough to make this album a little slow. And undoubtedly fast and tight as Axe's drumming is, at times he really doesn't help... in trying to keep it "old school" he can be quite monotonous to listen to. However there are a few exceptions: some rather inventive drum work in Treasonous diving in and out of triplet feel against the guitars makes for very entertaining listening indeeed. I've also seen this album flamed slightly for it's production... whilst I can agree some features have lost their edge slightly (the bass in particular has lost it's sharp, raw presence since the EP released earlier this year) the guitar tone, to my ear, is commendable to say the least. Lacking though it may be in comparison with earlier works, the drop A chunky tubey quad-tracked (or maybe even more than that) sound in this album certainly adds depth.

Lyrics — 7
This is a death metal album, so it's safe to assume nobody's going to be paying a huge amount of attention to the lyrics. Though it's not quite as predictable as the bog-standard gore-filled outing, the lyrical themes on The Fathomless Mastery are as you would have expected. They do however fit in with the feel of the music, so one can't complain on that aspect. How they are delivered is much more enjoyable. I am an avid Opeth fan so hearing Mikey in a less progressive context is always good fun and I'm sure he enjoys throwing away the enigmatic Opethian dignity for the sake of screaming about gore and anti-Christianity for a death metal album.

Overall Impression — 8
In conclusion I would say this is a solid effort by Bloodbath, though not up to the standards of previous work. It lacks a constant feel of energy, chunky guitaring and something else I can't quite place, it feels that they've tried to make this one heavier (the move to drop A is fairly solid proof) and in doing so lost something that Nightmares Made Flesh et al had. A shame as I really did want to give this album top marks, something I was expecting to do after hearing the highly promising Unblessing the Purity. There are many standout moments in this album, but if I had to pick my favourite tracks they would have to be Treasonous and Devouring The Feeble. This is far from a perfect album but still one I would listen to if I felt like a bit of a rock-out without having to pay too much attention to what's going on.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer
    I dont really see how the first reviewer can call this thing 'slow'. What, there were 2 songs that were slow? Mock the cross and Hades Rising. Hades rising is probably the best song too.. pretty amazing melodic outro, which Bloodbath have never done before. THe guitar tones were aamzing as well.. most DM tones are those awefull buzzsaw tones, sounds weak and overused. Mayones ftw.
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    i love this album. it's a great example of melodic metal that is still amazingly brutal and evil, not like a lot of melodic death metal bands that have brutal verses and power metal choruses.
    CthulhuKaamos
    I agree with the guy who said Watershed was lackluster...it was good, don't get me wrong, but there was something...off about it. It just wasn't what was expected, it doesn't really feel complete for some reason
    EmancipatedSoul
    I prefer Nightmares made Flesh. "Eaten" after all, is a masterpiece. But this is by no means a bad album. I personally don't get tired listening to it at all; I enjoy it immensely.
    skyfire322
    I wasn't disappointed by The Fathomless Mastery, but I wasn't impressed either. The music itself was pretty good, but I just have a feeling they didn't put as much effort into it as their last albums. But I do take into consideration, Opeth constantly touring, Katatonia touring as well so they probably just wanted to get it out. I do give two devil horns up to their good effort though.
    ColinElmhurstEX
    Watershed, had a very disappointing lack of his death metal vocals. Bloodbath will have none of that feminine melodic nonsense haha! nice
    Dream Pin
    Astyan wrote: it's still ten times more solid than most Death Metal releases of the past 10 years.
    Annihilation of the Wicked? The Sound of Perseverance? Xenosapien?
    bass_emagdnim
    Astyan wrote: I can understand that one can be disappointed but two 5 and an overall 6 as a mark, just no, it's still ten times more solid than most Death Metal releases of the past 10 years. Well written review but too much focus on trying to overcriticize in order to look cool, in my opinon.
    My opinon on this album has changed since I've written the review, it appeals more and more with each listen. But I stand by what I've said, there is a fair bit of filler on this one. But to my knowledge, being critical over the internet just gets you into a pointless argument rather than looking cool. Besides, the whole point of album reviewing is to be closely critical, right? And to back up Dream Pin's comment, pretty much ANY death metal release of the 90s is guaranteed to kick the ass of anything from the 21st century.
    Wartooth
    Raven_Flight wrote: A main attraction to Bloodbath is the presence of Mikael kerfeldt on vocals, something which especially interests me as Opeths latest album, Watershed, had a very disappointing lack of his death metal vocals WTF?! man have you heard "Heir Apparent"? Even in the lotus eater he has his moments
    Yeah, out of that one hour album, he does a bit of death metal in heir apparent which is awesome as btw. And Lotus eater has a little bit, and hessian peel. but the album gets a bit boring. especially coz after lotus eaters death metal part, there is none for like 25 minutes, until hessian peel. but yeah Watershed was good and so is The Fathomless Mastery.
    Astyan
    Yeah, out of that one hour album, he does a bit of death metal in heir apparent which is awesome as btw. And Lotus eater has a little bit, and hessian peel. but the album gets a bit boring. especially coz after lotus eaters death metal part, there is none for like 25 minutes, until hessian peel. but yeah Watershed was good and so is The Fathomless Mastery.
    Opeth is Progressive Death Metal, though. What makes the band's music so powerful is the evil growling but only because it's BETWEEN sections of clean guitar melodies and solos. Watershed did put some of the Death Metal aspect of the band aside, but it only helps making it more epic when it appears. I didn't feel Opeth's last album as soft in spite of all the clean singing, and the transition from calm to Death Metal in Hessian Peel is ****ing orgasmic. I agree that I kind of overreacted on the "best DM release in ten years" thing, of course.
    Tom-The-Bassist
    it appeals more and more with each listen.
    I couldn't agree more with that, i purchased the album about 2 months ago, at first i really didn't like it, i much preferred the resurrection through carnage record, but now i listen to it more and more and well....i really really like this album.