They were a group bizzarely branded as a deathcore band on their earlier releases.
Which does strike me as strange, as they never claimed to be anything other than straight up melodic death metal worship – apart from maybe their demos – and an extreme version of it at that.
This album is no different from what came before.
‘Widowmaker’ kicks the album of in fine form and there’s no beating about the bush here as it launches into some furious melodic death riffing.
There’s nice layered raspy vocals and before you know it at the 2 minute mark we’re treated to an excellent solo courtesy of Brandon Ellis of Arsis, who has joined the band for this album.
The solos are a constant delight throughout the record.
‘Of God And Serpent, Of Spectre And Snake’: this one opens with an excellent riff which is probably the best thing about the song as well as the solo and some nice chunky riffing towards the end. Nothing special though.
‘Matriach’ though rules from the get go.
Melodic yet crushing riffs and technical drumwork with some excellent vocals thrown on top make this a joy to listen to. Everything is working in unison here. There are just no faults to this song at all. It’s relentless throughout. Excellent stuff.
‘Jars’ too slays from beginning to end and the gang vocals that are thrown into parts of the song are seriously cool. The first time you hear them you just cant help but feel compelled to headbang along to it.
I can imagine this one going down a treat in a live setting. Its topped off by another decent but not great solo and back into the excellent gang vocal part at the end. Great song.
Up next we have ‘Kings Of The Nightworld’ which is one of the highlights of the album.
It begins with a dissection type sounding riff which is the basis of the song and the main chorus. And what a riff it is.
It will be stuck in you’re head for days after hearing it even just the once. Then the vocals kick in over thrashy riffs and possibly the best vocals and lyrics of the entire album. The lyrics are pure old school death metal worship and such fun its hard not to enjoy it.
The chorus to the song is the best thing on the album and it was always going to be hard to live up to that. Im just glad they put it in the middle of the album and not at the beginning. Excellent song and everything i love about this band rolled into one.
Unfortunately after this song the album tends to sound a bit samey. ‘Catacomb Hecatomb’ just sounds like the last few songs but not nearly as good, and the solo isn’t up to all that much either. A throwaway song.
Rolling into the final two tracks just do nothing for me at all. Pointless riffing which goes nowhere and no solos of worth at all. They just seem tacked on as an afterthought which is a bloody pity as on all their previous albums the final track was the one you were always waiting for.
‘Abysmal’, ‘Everblack’, ‘Deflorate’ and ‘Miasma’ had the most awesome sounding songs to end those albums -some even threw in some nice dark sounding synths which spiced things up a little. There’s none of that here however, and ‘The lonely Deceased’ ends the album on a bit of a downer.
All in all its a typical Black Dahlia Murder release which wont disappoint current fans but most certainly wont win over any new fans.
A pretty solid release but it does tend to taper off near the end and has a tendency to sound a bit samey after a while. I will say that I’m grateful that they don’t go over the 35 minute mark on it and that is definitely appreciated.
The problem with The Black Dahlia Murder is that they just don’t really offer up too much variation on this one as on past releases, and even then the variance was pretty minimal, but it was still welcomed all the same.
All the same I’m still a fan and when you stick any of their albums on you can always expect to be pretty much blown away from tracks 1 to 5 and then expect a bit of filler then an excellent final track.
I would have to say that personally ‘Miasma’ to me is their perfect album though and pretty much slays from beginning to end.
Id love to hear more of the gang style vocals on more songs as they sound really powerful when they do kick in. A few slower paced tracks might break up the monotony as well of the faster paced ones.
The musicianship, and in particular the solos can’t be faulted though but i still doubt they will ever create something that will be deemed a classic,but i would love if they proved me wrong. Always an enjoyable band all the same and I’ve yet to witness them live but id say it would be an absolute treat.
Extra points go to the excellent cover art by Necrolord. Its always nice to see him do something that isn’t blue.
3.2 / 5 – Ollie Gill ::: 17/11/18