Monday, May 27, 2013

The Black Dahlia Murder-Everblack

Metal Blade Records

It's been 2 years since we last heard from Michigan's The Black Dahlia Murder. Since that last album, 2011's "Ritual" (which I also covered), bassist Ryan "Bart" Williams and drummer Shannon Lucas have departed the band and have been replaced by (respectively) Max Lavelle (formerly of Despised Icon and Goratory) and Alan Cassidy (formerly of Abigail Williams). Not that a new rhythm section is going to make a bit of difference when it comes to their overall sound, but it should at least be noted up front of this review. Seeing as you've still got vocalist Trevor Strnad and guitarists Brian Eschbach & Ryan Knight the band has made a smooth transition from "Ritual" to "Everblack". It's quite possible that the new blood has added a little to the overall edginess of The Black Dahlia Murder, but, seeing as I've misplaced my copy of "Ritual" to compare this with, I can only go off of this corrupted memory of mine. Given that little tidbit it sure does feel as if this one is more menacing and, overall, weaved together in a tighter form. "In Hell Is Where She Waits for Me" opens the flood gates of this album and for T.B.D.M. it's all or nothing as their distinct brand of melodic death metal thrashes the listener head over heels like a crushing wave. Lyrically Trevor Strnad takes a greater stand and throws everything he has out towards the listener. Whatever willpower the listener might have left is repeatedly punch by technical leads that, as stunning as they are, were reportedly quite often improvised for the record. Actually, the leads seem to be more of a focal point as these near death/thrash riffs are steady rocking all through the 10 cuts. I don't recall "Ritual" having such bone crushing guitars as "Everblack" does but either way its instantly recognizable that this group has matured their own sound while evolving for the scene. "Everblack" is T.B.D.M. giving their fans what they want and what they need, but it's also giving their fans what they didn't know they needed or even graved. This is a super solid LP that borders on excellent while never giving you a down-point.

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