Armed with relentless riffs and venomous vocals, The Black Dahlia Murder are by no means wallflowers. The now-traditional two years since ‘Everblack’ have passed and brought with them ‘Abysmal,’ the seventh incarnation of their melodic death metal and the complete antithesis of its title.
The somewhat orchestral opening of ‘Receipt’ soon descends into beautiful chaos, with a vitriolic vocal playoff showcasing their determination to prove their worth. Suitably bloodthirsty, ‘Vlad, Son of the Dragon’ insists on blazing its devastating path to the tune of vocalist Trevor Strnad on terrorising form.
Accompanied by an enchanting solo and leading line, the title track proves venomous as ever, while ‘Re-Faced’ demands your full attention turned to the pulverising dialogue between blood-curdling screams and doom-ridden growls. The appropriately-titled ‘Threat Level No. 3’ presents face-melting riffs amid mind-boggling drumwork, a testament to the masterpieces that emerge whenever the Michigan quintet set foot in a studio.
“I hope this is as close to hell as I’ll ever get,“ speaks the apprehensive female intro of ‘Stigiophobic’, a fearsome and feral ode to the fear of hell, framed by the melodic and purposeful ‘The Fog’ and the ferocious snap of ‘Asylum’. The melodic organised chaos of ‘The Advent’ builds up to a stunning crescendo of the now signature lofty title track, ‘That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead’, biding its time to strike before Ryan Knight hurls out two phenomenal solos.
It’s hardly surprising ‘Abysmal’ is a triumph, as it seems The Black Dahlia Murder can’t put a foot wrong. Consistent and rightly so, there’s no end in sight for this lot, you just try and stop ‘em. See you in another two years, lads.
’Abysmal’ by The Black Dahlia Murder is released on 18th September on Metal Blade Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)