Bloodbath are set to unfurl its latest death metal masterpiece called Survival of the Sickest on September 9th via Napalm Records. This new album features eleven songs full of unrelenting and vicious riffs thanks in part to the addition of Tomas Åkvik (previously in the band Lik). Tomas kindly took some time to chat with us about the new album, how he became part of Bloodbath, touring plans, and pizza.
Our conversation started by asking Tomas how he would say Survival of the Sickest stacks up against the prior Bloodbath albums.
Tomas responded “Oh, since I’m the new guy, it’s a, maybe an unfair question (laughs) but I think it’s really, really, really good. I’m super proud of it. It’s huge! (making the soaring phew sound), you know?”
Tomas continues “When I first heard the mix master all put together, I was like, I was like run over, you know because it’s so brutal. You still have those, all the passages with some slower songs and fast songs and all that stuff, but it’s still like in your face so much. I’m really, that’s so cool because it’s so, so much metal, if you can say that. But it’s really, it’s really like in your face. And I love that. That was so cool.”
I then asked Tomas about his favorite tracks on Survival of the Sickest. Tomas said, “Oh, I like “Carved”, the second single. I think that’s a really, really, really cool track. Yeah. And also, “Maggot, Malignant Therapy. How that turned out. I think it’s great. Like a Deicide on steroids or something like that.”
Survival of the Sickest is Bloodbath’s sixth album, however, it is the first full-length with Tomas in the band. I asked him about his experience in making this album. “Oh, it was a bit different before, from other bands that I am playing,” responded Tomas
Tomas continues “I always rehearse, when you’ve made a riff or something like that, you always try it out with a drummer or in the rehearsal space and try out the ideas and, you know, the back and forth with, with someone. This was more everybody is sitting at home, making music on their own, which was really cool. So that’s the difference. The real difference. A bit challenging, but also cool.”
Visa issues in the United States have plagued many bands including Bloodbath. I asked Tomas if there were any updates on getting to the states to support Survival of the Sickest. Tomas smiled and responded “The other bands that other guys (in Bloodbath) are in is busy. So, hope. It will be, but I don’t know anything yet. I would really hope that we are allowed to go to the states next year and we get visas. I don’t know…it’s just not happening for us.”
Hopefully next year we’ll be able to enjoy a vicious live performance from Bloodbath in the United States. In the meantime, check out the rest of the interview to learn about Tomas’s joining Bloodbath as well as how he got into death metal and playing guitar. We wrapped up our chat with a discussion on pizza toppings. Once you’ve listened to the interview, head over to Napalm Records to order your copy of Survival of the Sickest.