The Black Dahlia Murder

You can tell immediately from the Kristian Whalin (Emperor, At The Gates, Dark Tranquility) artwork, pentagram covered CD inlay and song titles (“Deathmask Divine”, “I Worship Only What You Bleed”, “Darkness Spawned”, “Warborn”), that media darlings The Black Dahlia Murder are on a far more serious and improved rampage than their previous effort, the aptly titled Miasma, a forced thrash overdose, and want to return to the sound of their watershed Unhallowed album, and indeed they do.

The thing is, even with a more serious, blacker and melodically vitriolic sound, they still sound like an American band trying to sound like a blacker, leaner version of At The Gates. And for some, that may not be a bad thing, it certainly didn’t prevent them from becoming one of Metal Blade’s hottest acts, and in all honesty Nocturnal is a pretty good album, but the sound has been soooooo beaten to death, its quickly losing any luster it has.

That being said, with a far more tangible Naglfar/Dissection influence more predominately present, Nocturnal slices, shreds and blasts with aplomb, and has far more focus and melodic drive than Miasma, but ultimately the band’s sound is a victim of their own success as bands like Sons of Azrael, Bring Me The Horizon and countless others have aped the sound to the point where there’s simply no originality, creativity or individuality whatsoever and all said bands blend into one high octane pot of same-y-ness.

Granted, TBDM are arguably the more polished bands of the style, and their new rhythm section including former All That Remains drummer Shannon Lucas is tighter than fuck and along with Trevor Strnad’s rasps and growls, rounded out by a all star master/mix/production (Eric Rachael, Jason Suceof) the whole affair is impressively put together. Even though all 10 tracks are similarly paced, “Darkness Spawned” and closer “Warborn” standout out due to their slight variety and pacing, with “Warborn” having a nice, deliberate slower gait I’d liketo hear more of.

Ultimately, much like bands like Dimmu Borgir, As I Lay Dying, Arch Enemy, Dismember, Bolt Thrower and Amon Amarth, you know exactly what to expect with a The Black Dahlia Murder album, and they deliver on Nocturnal with no real deviation or surprises, but a whole lot of blackened venom.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 12th, 2007


  1. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    “Warborn” is an orgasm of drums. That song drops my jaw. Plus the album absolutely kills.

  2. Commented by: faust

    Yep.. One of my fav MDM\DM albums, it literally bristles with ferocity. The new record is goona be sick.

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