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The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual Award winner

The Black Dahlia Murder
by Nikos Makropoulos at 21 June 2011, 4:49 PM

There are many who think that metal in USA, is mostly around bands like Lamb of God, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage and others who tried to set a trend through the years and through their releases, believing that the rest of the bands are following completely blind and there are others on the contrary who think that those bands are the next great followers of the  heritage of  Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and the other great American bands, setting new standards with every new release, growing bigger throughout the years.

The perfect example, of the previous assumption is The Black Dahlia Murder. Formed in 2001 in Michigan and taking their name after the 1947 unsolved murder, of Elizabeth Short, referred as Black Dahlia. The band released their first full length album "Unhallowed" on the same year, signed to Metal Blade and gained all the fans and critics with their unique music style and their well-hidden influences from both American and European metal style. 4 years after, an insane and more raunchy form was born and "Miasma" was a fact. In 2007 "Nocturnal" pushed the band to a higher level of acceptance and they were going on an extensive American tour with headliners Cannibal Corpse and joined by their label-mates The Red Chord, Aeon, The Absence and Goatwhore. In 2009 the band released their fourth album "Deflorate", which put them in the first week of release at position 43 on Billboards Independent Album chart, and toured with Goatwhore and Arkaik. And finally in February 2011 the band completed the songwriting process for their fifth album entitled "Ritual".

We can see clearly that TBDM has set new terms to their own sound, more mature and evolved in all the parts of their songwriting methods without losing their humorous attitude, which is their trademark status. All their main influences are here, but fully adopted and adjusted to their style. Where Carcass meets Metallica and At the Gates meets Dissection and Megadeth, is the place that you will find those crazies dwelling.

"Ritual" is their most straight oriented and balanced album ever. Songs like "A Shrine To Madness" and "Carbonized In Cruciform", features the band’s new songwriting status and taking them to the next level. Trevor Strnads's vocals are balancing between full growls and high-picked shrieks giving you the impression that the guy is totally diminished and deranged, followed by great guitar work by Brian Eschbach and Ryan Knight, with massive shreds and heavy riffs to well put melodic solos and leads, as for the band’s drummer Shannon Lucas (ex-All that Remains), is a guaranty for reliable and constant drumheads torturing and high skilled drum play.

I wish to have the privilege in the future and hear more releases as excellent like this one, hoping that more will follow the path of inspired and so aggressive bands, like TBDM, without losing their heart and being corrupted by those who try to set is a specific route of an apparent and hollow success.

All hail the new Lords, accept their macabre, spontaneous and amusing calling to their latest "Ritual". Brilliant!

5 Star Rating

1. A Shrine to Madness
2. Moonlight Equilibrium
3. On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood
4. Conspiring With the Damned
5. The Window
6. Carbonized in Cruciform
7. Den of the Picquerist
8. Malenchanments of the Necrosphere
9. The Grave Robber's Work
10. The Raven
11. Great Burning Nullifier
12. Blood in the Ink
Trevor Strnad - Vocals
Brian Eschbach - Guitars
Shannon Lucas - Drums
Ryan "Bart" Williams - Bass
Ryan Knight - Guitar
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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