The Black Dahlia Murder


Written by: AP on 17/11/2007 16:26:13

It's not that I have a grudge against metalcore bands, there's just too many of them around saturating the genre with too many breakdowns, too many harmonies, too much despair and too little brute force. When I listen to an album belonging to a subcategory of metal, I don't want to hear acoustic interludes; I expect no mercy. I don't want lyrics about love lost; I want them to be about burning children, blood and hate. It's not that I hate black metal either, I just don't want to listen to music that's been recorded through a shoe with a hairdryer running in the background. I want more than five notes to an album. With these criteria, I don't know how The Black Dahlia Murder has managed to sneak four albums beneath my radar before casting "Nocturnal" at me.

"Nocturnal" is one ferocious son of a bitch. Despite its short length, it unleashes such savagery that I don't even want to know what the band's music videos contain. "Nocturnal" blends together the best of three genres, it's lyrics drawn from the sick, nihilistic world of black metal, its riffs and drumming from the technical proficiency of death metal and its breakdowns from metalcore. You will find no clean sung choruses here, no acoustic interluding, and most of all, no emotion. I mean, the most emotional song on the album, "Deathmask Divine", deals with the despair and fascination of a necrophiliac telling of his lust and love for a corpse.

And though The Black Dahlia Murder may not have accomplished anything revolutionary here, "Nocturnal" broadcasts a mysterious vibe that arrests the fascination of even the most devoted hater of extreme metal. Against the philosophy of black metal, the two guitarists' set of riffs extends over the entire fretboard; the melodies are vast and varied and are broken into fierce breakdowns in exactly the right places. The drummer remembers not to snare away on his two bass drums and give attention to the other parts of his set, too, resulting in a complex and diverse drum line, which, together with a skilled bassist, makes "Nocturnal" the massive assault it is. The vocals; well, think Dani Filth and Oliver Sykes blended in a meat grinder, add two parts bones from endangered animals, a splash of newborn baby and a couple of teaspoons of piranha teeth.

While "Nocturnal" isn't necessarily album of the year, it's pretty damn good. So good, in fact, that I can't think of anything that could have been done differently to better it. "Nocturnal" hits with the mass and speed of a freight train out of control and doesn't stop until it has ground you to mince. My vote for the heaviest album of the year goes to "Nocturnal".

Download: Everything Went Black, Virally Yours, Deathmask Divine

For the fans of: Bring Me The Horizon, Job For A Cowboy

Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.09.2007

Metal Blade

Provided by Target ApS

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