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The Black Dahlia Murder - Abysmal Award winner

The Black Dahlia Murder
by Aaron "Five Magics" Price at 15 August 2015, 8:03 PM

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER are at a point where between touring with some of the biggest bands out there in Extreme Metal, like CANNIBAL CORPSE and SUICIDE SILENCE, as well as being on Metal Blade Records which is one of the largest Metal labels out there, are becoming extremely well known. Starting off with more of a Deathcore style sound in "Unhallowed" and "MiasmaTBDM have found their own brand of extremely sexy Melodic Death Metal, melodic riffs, insane solos, drums that make me exhausted just imagining trying to play them along with Trevor Strnad's signature, poetic vocal and lyrical style.

THIS REVIEW IS NOT TO BE A FANBOY THOUGH, I intend to be harsh knowing exactly what this band is capable of and I expect nothing less than the best out of "Abysmal." So far the world has heard the likes of their obvious new show opener "Receipt," which is awesome in its own right and the better of the two songs released thus far. With lyrics focused on the idea of depression and suicide this is the kind of song that shows the emotional impact even Death Metal can have on people. "Vlad, Son Of The Dragon" was the first song released and the second on the album, this song I was sceptical about at first, it's good, it's BLACK DAHLIA, but it was when I realised that the song is about Vlad The Impaler that it started to get really awesome to me. My favourite set of BLACK DAHLIA lyrics use to be "Deathmask Divine," this song took that with "raise up the traitors, HIGHER! HIGHER! In order by rank and spark the funeral pyre," the imagery of a commander watching all of his comrades get strung up until it reaches him at last. "Re-Faced" is the song that took me by surprise, it begins as what you would expect from TBDM, heavy, fast paced, riff galore and Strnad's brand of vocal contrast, but the real part of this song that struck me as a "must play live" song is the second half, the beat slows down completely and thus begins the intense headbanging! Hair everywhere, that is what you should expect from "Re-Faced." Later in the album you have a slower paced song, the kind of song that would be out of place on most albums but fits in right where it is on "Abysmal," welcome "Stygiophobic" starting of with someone saying "I hope this is as close to hell as I ever get," the song kicks in with slow riffs, constant bass pedal and vocals that sound like the band is reading out of poem. Even the guitar solo is a little slower than normal, of course that doesn't exactly last as both Ryan Knight and Brian Eschbach are incredible guitarists. Now of course, anyone who knows TDBM knows they have this thing for having a song with a strange title, "That Which Erodes The Most Tender Of Things" and "I Worship Only What You Bleed" for example. "Abysmal" closes its door with "That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead" opening with a symphonic portion the way "Receipt" did, this is a song that focuses on vocals more than instrumentals, although everything is as unreal as normal, you can tell there is a story being told.. If only it was easier to understand Strnad sometimes.

This is "Abysmal" and if you like THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER then this is also a must have. Taking what was right from each of their past albums, tossing in more amazing story telling and words that I don't know (which seems to happen with TBDM more often than it should) Metal is more than alive and well, TBDM are here to fight about it with their best album to date! Also, they got picked up on the IndieMerch Tour with IRON REAGAN so that's probably something you won't want to miss.

5 Star Rating

1. Receipt
2. Vlad, Son Of The Dragon
3. Abysmal
4. Re-Faced
5. Threat Level No. 3
6. The Fog
7. Stygiophobic
8. Asylum
9. The Advent
10. That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead
Trevor Strnad - Vocals
Ryan Knight - Guitars
Brian Eschbach - Guitars
Max Lavelle - Bass
Alan Cassidy - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 29 September 2022

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