I must admit, The Black Dahlia Murder was not typically one of the bands that were on my radar. I knew of them, of course. However, they were not one of my go to bands when it came to filling up my Zune with tunes. I just started really listening to their albums within the last couple of years. I never understood the critics that called defined them metalcore or deathcore. I also did not heard the reason for all the comparisons to At The Gates. What similarities were there were not any different that a ton of other bands in the genre. What I heard was a new American death metal band trying to not be a little fish in a huge sea of bands. After five albums and a ton of personnel changes, The Black Dahlia Murder has managed to do just that. Their last album, “Ritual”, was touted as a huge success for them. The band’s newest album, “Everblack”, released June 11, 2013, I feel is a continuation of this trend.
“Everblack” starts out like most of The Black Dahlia Murder’s albums, introducing us to new band members! Bassist Max Lavelle (ex-Despised Icon) and new drummer Alan Cassidy (ex-Abigail Williams) both make fabulous additions to the band. Lavelle easily keeps up with Brian Eschbach and Ryan Knight, and shows off some of his talents right away in the beginning of the opening track ‘In Hell Is Where She Waits For Me’. Replacing Shannon Lucas is not an easy task, but Cassidy does it handily. One listen to the bridge of ‘Into The Everblack’ and you’ll hear what I mean. Ryan Knight does some of his best guitar work on “Everblack” since joining the band. He and Eschbach’s riffs are comfy like an old pair shoes. They are somehow familiar, but not copied, and very easy to get into. Knight’s solos are also that perfect combo of noodle and drawn out tones. They are not too techy and have plenty of emotion. What has always stood out to me about The Black Dahlia Murder is Trevor Strnad‘s voice. It is incredibly unique and easily recognizable. His ability to do both screeching and growling vocals, and be legible in his delivery of The Black Dahlia Murder’s eerie lyrics is outstanding.
Overall “Everblack” is a solid record from front to back. It is practically a no skipper and a great follow up to “Ritual”. “Everblack” should change the minds of any of the bands detractors, and will definitely keep The Black Dahlia Murder on the list as one of the best American death metal bands.