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The Black Dahlia Murder
August 2011
Released: 2011, Metal Blade
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Munkwunk

Though Michigan’s Black Dahlia Murder has been around since 2000, they are a band that has flown just below my radar for the decade they’ve been playing. Their name comes up in discussions from time-to-time but I have never bothered to seek them out and sample what they have to offer. While I can’t say that their latest effort, Ritual, has made me regret the decision to not listen to them sooner, it is a welcome addition to the melodic death metal genre in general.

For those who have been as unfamiliar with them as I have been, Black Dahlia Murder is an American band playing music that is in the vein of Swedish melodic death metal, They are more on the extreme end of the spectrum and more comparable to At the Gates than Dark Tranquillity, so they may appeal to those seeking a more brutal listening experience.

Over the last 11 years or so, The Black Dahlia Murder has had time to hone their technical skills, and it definitely shows. Ritual is full of tight hooks and melodies, solid arrangement, and overall excellent performance. Their sound has the maturity of any band that boasts a decade or more showmanship, which is great news in the crowded arena that is melodic death metal.

Ritual is a top-notch album from a band that clearly knows and understands what they are doing in the metal world. Though not necessarily anything new or innovative to write home about, anyone who considers themself a fan of death metal would do good to give Black Dahlia Murder’s new release a few spins.
Track Listing

1. A Shrine to Madness - 4:41
2. Moonlight Equilibrium - 3:28
3. On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood - 4:42
4. Conspiring with the Damned - 3:44
5. The Window - 3:39
6. Carbonized in Cruciform - 4:46
7. Den of the Picquerist - 1:30
8. Malenchanments of the Necrosphere - 4:18
9. The Grave Robber's Work - 3:37
10. The Raven - 2:58
11. Great Burning Nullifier- 3:25
12. Blood in the Ink - 4:40

Total length: 45:28


Trevor Strnad - vocals
Brian Eschbach - guitars
Ryan Knight - guitars
Bart Williams - bass
Shannon Lucas – drums

Next review: » The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual
Previous review: » The Black Dahlia Murder - Nocturnal

The Black Dahlia Murder
September 2011
Released: 2011, Metal Blade
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

The Black Dahlia Murder are a band whose raw power and aggression is best heard through a pair of headphones. You play it through your CD player and the album sounds like a mouse who has just taken a cyanide pill.

If The Black Dahlia Murder where to play the main stage at Download, the crowd would not be able to connect with it. But if you listen to the amazing new album Ritual through an Ipod and turn the volume all the way up, you will have never had heard anything as Brutal in your life. With groove filled beat-downs, pounding blast beats and one of the scariest voice metal has ever seen, the almighty The Black Dahlia Murder are back with album number five, and yes, they sound as heavy as ever, but even fucking better!

The music is always charging forward, delivering a fist pumping, head banging journey through each song which never slows down or looses it’s heaviness. Compared to previous The Black Dahlia Murder albums; Ritual has a sense of everything being more ‘mainstream’ on it. The production on this album sounds a lot better than on previous efforts Nocturnal and Miasma, giving sounds like ‘Moonlight Equilibrium’,‘Conspiring With the Damned’ and ‘Carbonised in Cruciform’ a larger sound to this mosh pit igniter jammed album.

There is not a dull moment on Ritual and even though the music is super heavy and capable of blowing your ear drums wide open, the tracks on this album are something that all metal fans can enjoy. This is all down to the excellent musicianship of the guys in The Black Dahlia Murder and because they can place some guitar solo wizardry, modulation, song structure and catchy verse’s and chorus’s into their music - The Black Dahlia Murder really set themselves apart from other deathcore bands on the circuit at the moment, making them the BEST band for writing killer deathcore songs which Ritual is chocker block full of.

With Ritual you do get the feeling that The Black Dahlia Murder have decided to go for a darker and more meaningful approach to this album, and when you get past the quite occultly title, the songs really show just how they have eventually fallen to the ‘Dark Side’ in the ten years they have been writing music. When you listen to up in your face, bordering on black metal songs with titles like ‘On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood’ and ‘Malenchalments of the Necrosphere’ you know that this Ritual is not your average Christian bum-chum get together, but a tribute to the gods of chaos themselves.

Ritual is one of the heaviest mosh fests of this year and with twelve killer no filler tracks of pure dark death metal, The Black Dahlia Murder are a band who deserve all the best in life, and hopefully with Ritual we will see The Black Dahlia Murder hit the big league with full brutal force!

Review by Matt Seddon
Track Listing

1. A Shrine To Madness (4:41)
2. Moonlight Equilibrium (3:30)
3. On Stirring Seas Of Salted Blood (4:42)
4. Conspiring With The Damned (3:44)
5. The Window (3:39)
6. Carbonized In Cruciform (4:46)
7. Den Of The Picquerist (1:30)
8. Malenchanments Of The Necrosphere (4:18)
9. The Grave Robber's Work (3:37)
10. The Raven (2:58)
11. Great Burning Nullifier (3:25)
12. Blood In The Ink (4:40)


Brian Eschbach – rhythm guitar
Trevor Strnad – vocals
Ryan "Bart" Williams – bass
Shannon Lucas – drums
Ryan Knight – lead guitar

Next review: » The Black League - Ichor
Previous review: » The Black Dahlia Murder - Nocturnal

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