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The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack

In recent years The Black Dahlia Murder have worked hard and done well at making themselves one of the underground metal scene’s biggest names. They’ve consistently put out good albums and have always been a driving force within that scene. So, with that in mind how does ‘Everblack’ stand up to their impressive back catalogue? Have they come unstuck? Is this a fitting continuation for them? Let’s have a look at it.bdmPromoImage

Unlike the previous album ‘Ritual’ this album starts in a way it means to carry on, getting straight to the point instead choosing to create an atmospheric intro with distorted guitars rather than using synths this time around. After that short interlude frantic riffing and punishing drums ensue into the thrash/death metal style riffs one would expect from these guys. Complete with a mid section with some more down tempo melodic riffing that leads well and compliments the arrival of the guitar solo section that follows.

As ‘Goat Of Departure’ kicks in after a short guitar intro blast beats kick in to mark the beginning of another frantic track though I’m surprised as the verse riff kicks in and slightly disappointed as I’m left feeling pretty dissatisfied by it. The riff ends up sounding a bit slowly paced and almost lazy sounding in context with the intro. I’ve no problem with bands simplifying their riffs or even their songs if it helps it sound better overall but this kinda sounds like it was written in a hurry or needlessly simplified as it doesn’t sound as though it fits that well. This seems to be an unfortunate recurring theme throughout a few sections on the album which are generally few and far between but nevertheless are still present. Such points can be found in the verses of ‘Into The Everblack’ where a lead up to a higher sounding guitar melody mid verse ends up sounding like an unnecessary attempt to introduce some variety into an already frantic verse which I feel just falls a bit flat.

The Black Dahlia Murder – Into The Everblack

Another huge change on this album which surprised me was the decision for the change in the production of the album. Unlike previous efforts everything is very clean and clear sounding. Whilst for most bands this mostly proves to only be a good thing but with ‘Dahlia I feel it takes away a lot of what made them great. Their past albums like ‘Unhallowed,’ ‘Nocturnal’ and ‘Ritual’ were made even better by a gritty overall atmosphere which gave them a darker tone which was mainly due to the production. This time around everything is clearly audible and whilst the improvements lead to an overall bigger sounding album thanks to a beefed up bass sound, huge sounding drums and massive, attacking guitars where everything is audible it’s worth asking if it a step forward worth taking?

However, as the album goes on it becomes clear that all is not lost and that there’s still a great band here. After a few mis-steps there are a good few songs that begin to redeem this album. ‘Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn’ show that these guys are still progressing as a band where the roots of progression they laid on ‘Ritual’ start to come together and are on display throughout this song. After some truly great instrumentation and layering complete with some excellent lead guitar work the run in to the middle section of this song there is a real treat waiting as the middle section kicks in and a beautiful melodic lead guitar line kicks in. After this the album really picks up and previous songs on the album that weren’t up to scratch feel like a distant memory as the rest of the tracks more than make up for the previous shortcomings. They rip through some vintage ‘Dahlia style tracks whilst also implementing a few new ideas successfully.

In Conclusion: Though this album initially had me worried that this was The Black Dahlia Murder coming off the rails in the end they pulled it back and still made this into a good album. I’d say that due to a few new ideas not quite coming off it stops this from being a great album but it’s fully worth having a listen to and essential for any long time Black Dahlia Murder fans.

Personal Favourite Tracks: Raped In Hatred By Vines Of Thorn, Phantom Limb Masturbation, Their Beloved Absentee, Map Of Scars.

The Black Dahlia Murder ‘Everblack’ will be out via Metal Blade Records on the 11th June 2013.

7.5/10

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