There was time where The Black Dahlia Murder were one of extreme metal’s whipping boys, a band that weren’t taken seriously by any of the ‘none more metal crew’ but let me tell you, those days are far behind them now.
The Black Dahlia Murder have become one of the most exciting and innovative bands in the extreme metal scene, with a slew of back to back knock out albums, with their last two albums 2011’s ”Ritual” and 2013’s ”Everblack” both being near masterpieces, showing the level of growth the band displayed with each album.
So it was with great anticipation I waited for the band to drop their new album ”Abysmal” – which may be an ironic title, because this album is anything but.
While it’s shorn some of the more melodic edge away that was found on ”Everblack” it does ramp up the speed and heaviness to a much more vicious degree. There is a sense of purpose here with this album, a statement of intent. The Black Dahlia Murder have turned their attention to much wider things, and in doing so have crafted an album that will surely cement their legacy as of the best of the new generation of death metal bands, songs like ‘Receipt’ and ‘Vlad, Son of the Dragon’ show that at any given time the band can just pull something classic sounding out of their arsenal and is a testament to the kind of band they have grown into.
I think the most interesting thing about the sound of The Black Dahlia Murder and its continued evolution is that they seem to be able to perfectly bridge the gap between the original Florida death metal sound and the 90’s Norwegian black metal scene. They accomplish this by having some amazing melodies strung through their guitar work, seriously if you really listen to ”Abysmal” you will hear possibly some of the best melodic guitar work on any metal album this year, but also the diversity in Trevor Strnad‘s voice is astounding and on this album in particular he really pushes himself and shows off the full range of his capabilities.
”Absymal” is another impressive album from a band that is fast becoming one of the go to bands for world-class death metal – a band that isn’t afraid to push themselves creatively and is constantly creating album of the year contenders every time they hit the studio.