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Friday, June 07, 2013

Uncompromising brutality from The Black Dahlia Murder on Everblack

AS The Black Dahlia Murder embarked on recording their ninth album Everblack someone must have slipped the nasty pills in their coffee as it is an album that scores heavily in the brutality stakes, musically and lyrically.

It as an album, that like some of their previous releases could be classed as melodic death metal, but only the lazy would dare attached such a trite label.

Yes, all the elements are ther, none less than track Raped In Hatred by Vines of Thorns, but their previous Scandanvian influences, while there, now have additional flavourings of hardcore and some American bands like Morbid Angel.

That much you can probably glean from the press blurb and Wikipedia, but Everblack is an intense album, primed to be in your face.

At a casual listen it does have all the melodic death metal ingredients - strident vocals, blastbeats, harmonising guitars, challenging passages in tracks and at times stupidly violent lyrical themes.

But dig a little deeper and you'll find that The Black Dahlia Murder have grown up a bit. Whether it is as a result of line-up changes, or just putting in more years on the road and in the studio they have achieved more depth.

Opener In Hell is Where She Waits for Me has the burgeoning sense of atmosphere the band no doubt wanted to achieve, but it is a taster for what is to come.

By the time you get to the breathless Phantom Limb Masturbation there has been a sense that the band have become more familiar to subtle shading and use of full-on sounds when needed and knowing when to back off.

At times there are even nods to classic metal and NWOBHM, whether intentional or not.

Stand-out tracks are the title track Into the Everblack and Their Beloved Absentee. Not necessarily because they are the best on the album, but because they hint at so much more.

The only sour note is the continual use of violence and obscenity in the lyrics. Of course bands want to explore the darker, more depraved of a society happy to keep its darkness behind closed doors, but a different trope may yield better results for The Black Dahlia Murder.

Overall an intense listen, well worthy of a few spins to find what is lurking under the hood. 8 out of 10.

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