(8/10) ‘The Arrow of Satan is Drawn’ is album number two of the Nick Holmes era and it is the premiere of Craft guitarist Joakim Karlsson on the six-string guitar. Four years after ‘Grand Morbid Funeral’ alighted from the abyss it is the new album that delivers new morbid songs.
Two oldschool smashers kick-off the album. The deadly ‘Fleischmann’ and the heavily down-tuned ‘Bloodicide’ reflect musical evilness the Swedish way. What intensifies the latter, is the guest contribution of Jeff Walker (Carcass), Karl Willetts (Memoriam) and Cancer’s John Walker. You can’t get much more death metal pioneers contributing in one song.
‘The Arrow of Satan is Drawn’ comes with a ten songs track list that doesn’t know a real weak spot. The furious ‘Wayward Samaritan’ is another smashing death metal icon before ‘Levitator’ kicks in as a musical grinder. It’s the combination of slower death doom moment and the uptempo blasts that provides the song with a hellish atmosphere.
Furthermore, it’s songs like ‘Morbid Antichrist’, which unveil the evilness of Bloodbath’s sound. It’s a sinister and diabolic sphere of a blackened album that gives you the shivers. Mentioning ‘black’, there is a slight shift in Bloodbath sound. Influences of bands like Bathory and Celtic Frost are present on ‘The Arrow of Satan is Drawn’, leading to a crusty blackened undertone throughout and it’s Craft guitarist Joakim Karlsson that added fuel to the endeavor.
Next to the mentioned it’s ‘Only the Dead Survive’ that reminds me partly of the earlier Paradise Lost, times when the band as fully into death metal.
‘Chainsaw Lullaby’ is the closer and it’s not a friendly lullaby. A dirty rock’n’roll sound meets harsh Swedish death metal. It’s not the first time that these two elements collide, but it’s again this collision that releases a lot of energy. ‘Chainsaw Lullaby might be slightly different but it still fits perfectly into the context of this album and stands for a devilish ending od a well-done album.
- Wayward Samaritan
- March of the Crucifiers
- Morbid Antichrist
- Warhead Ritual
- Only the Dead Survive
- Chainsaw Lullaby
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date EU: October 26th, 2018