Released: Sep 15, 2009
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Number Of Tracks: 10
This album takes about 3 or 4 listens to get the whole feel. The first time you listen to it, you just take in all at once.
ComeInnerEar, on september 17, 2009 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: In 2007, The Black Dahlia Murder released Nocturnal, which in my opinion, was their best album. Then when I found out John Kempainen had left the band and Ryan Knight had replaced him, I wanted to hear their new material, and they did not disappoint. The band stayed with a similar "Nocturnal" sound, but with greatly improved solos, and some better written songs. When I first heard it, I was like "Woah, that was fast!" but at the same time, it was kind of hard to distinguish the lyrics. But when you read the lyrics along with the songs, your left speechless. Standout tracks are: Black Valor, Necropolis, Christ Deformed, That Which Erodes The Most Tender, and I Will Return. // 8
Lyrics: This album takes about 3 or 4 listens to get the whole feel. The first time you listen to it, you just take in all at once. After that, you try to distinguish the lyrics, which is probably one of the things that I think makes this band amazing.
01. Black Valor: this song starts off with a pretty sick riff, which is complimented by a decent solo. The lyrics to this song are kind of similiar to Nocturnal's Of Darkness Spawned: An army of darkness waiting to attack. This song has a pretty catchy chorus both musically and lyrically.
"Join us! Black valor's on our side!
Striking with satanic force we'll crush their fabled Christ"
The way Trevor sings it with the intro riff goes well together.
02. Necropolis: this song has a similar sounding riff, but slowed down. This song sports Black Dahlia's usual harmonized picking. Again, Trevor compliments his lyrics with the riff that goes together well. This song also has another catchy chorus, going
"O lord divine please break this silence.
Destroy your race of faceless liars."
03. A Selection Unnatural: this song's probably one of the fastest on the album. The lyrics are about a child born deformed, and is used as a scientific experiment. Trevor switches off between his high screams and low growls, quite often, and right away several times throughout the song. The solo isn't Ryan Knight's best efforts, but this song has one of my favorite lyrics from the album:
"Can it feel human love?
Though what would waste a drop on such a thing
Mindless abomination Hideously destroyed today"
04. Denounced, Disgraced: this song isn't as catchy as the 3 before it, but it still comes up a decent song. Not the greatest lyrics, but a pretty sick solo. I think this song is about John's leaving though:
"Forced to cut you down just another enemy
The road long fought to victory
Cancerous, poisoning anchored by this weakest link
Turn your lying face in utter shame
05. Christ Deformed: another not quite as catchy song. I think this song lacks creativity musically, and lyrically, as the verse consists of a very broken down riff, and the lyrics similar to Black Valor. The band had a different approach to this song though, as Trevor uses his growls the majority of the song. Other than that, it's an ok song.
"Wolves beset this fallen church of blasphemy
Orgies in blood shall deflorate its purity"
06. Death Panorama: when I saw how short this song was, I was hoping for another I Worship Only What You Bleed or Climatic Degradation. The song as a whole doesn't disappoint, since it's not quite as boring as the two before it, but the lyrics weren't as catchy as I was hoping for.
07. Throne Of Lunacy: this song gives the album new life. The singing starts off right away, with another catchy chorus, and a sick solo. I'm not too sure what the song is about, but it's one of the best on the album. The way the intro is played gives that palm-muted "Miasma" feeling.
"Ominous and obscure
Carnivorous and monstrous
Hideous and slithering
Dead to eyes but ever dreaming
Behind the stars at high
Below the stirring sea
Arise and claim your throne of lunacy"
08. Eyes of Thousand: this song sounds a lot like Climatic Degradation which actually isn't a bad thing. When I was reading the lyrics, I started laughing when he says "she'll suck you dry", and I thought to myself, "Is this song about a girlfriend?" as in he's broke. haha
Anyway, another good song on the album.
09. That Which Erodes The Most Tender: this song is one of the best on the album, both music and lyric wise. The chorus has a super-mario-sounding riff in the chorus that caught me by surprise but still enjoyed very much. The whole song is written perfectly in my opinion. As for the lyrics, I think it's about a mother who's young child has died, but decides to take care of it anyway.
"A hollow gaze peers from the cradle black
Imagining his shining eyes just sockets staring back
Witness the baptism skeletal the world would shun
Reject the purest form of love
A mother to her putrid rotting son"
10. I Will Return-This song, along with the one before it, are probably my two favorites on the album. The song is written like Miasma and Warborn, where the intro riff is repeated at the end with a variation of a solo which fades out. Unlike Miasma and Warborn though, the song's into is much more melodic. Lyrically, the song is about cryogenic freezing, and the almost "sci-fi" sounding solo fits it perfectly. Another all around perfect song and a perfect way to close the album.
"Until the sky is black and the sun it never shows
Til the whipping winds of nuclear winter cruelly blow
The gift of immortality has been bestowed
I will return, I will return"
10/10 // 9
Overall Impression: I've yet to find a band that sounds similar to The Black Dahlia Murder. Some say they're a At The Gates ripoff, but I don't hear it. haha. Like I said, Black Valor, Necropolis, Throne of Lunacy, That Which Erodes The Most Tender, and I Will Return were the most impressive. The other songs just fell short of impressive, but were still good. The only thing I disliked on the album was that Denounced, Disgraced and Christ Deformed sound similar to each other and aren't as catchy as the other ones. If it were stolen, I'd be mad because I just bought it today. haha It's already saved in my compueter, and have been listening to the album on youtube since last week, but I'm just glad it's on my ipod now. I can see myself blasting this for at least a month. // 8
Revenger#11, on september 29, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Black Dahlia Murder's last two releases have been pretty stellar to say the least. Miasma and Nocturnal really cemented the BDM as one of the best "Melodic Death Metal" acts going around. Deflorate refines the sound present on the last two albums. The guitar work is still pretty amazing and Ryan Knight( Ex Arsis ) shows that he can really play ( well, he was in Arsis). The speed seems to have picked up since the previous releases and their seems to be a lot more notes flying around now, both in the riffs and solos. I was amazed from the opening riff of songs like "Black Valor" on the first listen due to the pure speed and amount of notes but on the second listen it sounds like throughout the whole CD the BDM guitarists are trying to get too technical. It still sounds good, but the bluesy solos from Nocturnal are replaced by sweep picking and shred, which necessarily is not a bad thing. Shannon Lucas never ceases to amaze with his work behind the kit, and he blasts his way through the album, creating an amazing percussive background for the guitarists and bassist( Ryan Williams) to play around. // 8
Lyrics: Trev writes some really good "Metal" lyrics mostly to do with the usual "dark" themes. Death( of course) is the main focus of these themes. Trev says he likes to write his lyrics to sound like a horror movie but he does not use the Gross-out factor at all( unlike bands like Cannibal Corpse, etc) and his play on words are very smart. The music behind the lyrics is the perfect soundtrack, heavy and dark, just like the lyrics. No uplifting melodic sing a long choruses here. Trev's vox is outstanding as usual with his banshee "shriek" to his usual growl. I only wish Trev had a really low guttural to work alongside his shriek( like a Phil Bozeman( Whitechapel) guttural). Still amazing though. // 9
Overall Impression: Black Dahlia Murder's sound is almost utterly there own, like a combination of an In Flames or At The Gates harmonies, with insane drumming and demonic vox. Much does not compare to this because the musicianship and cohesiveness put all of the BDM's work into a unique world of it's own. It's fast, heavy, got sick vocals, amazing drumming, nice solos, nice riffs. It is just very good. Best songs in my opinion are: Black Valor, Necropolis, Selection Un-Natural, Eyes of a Thousand and I Will Return. Not totally unique from their previous album's sound but a bit more refined. It is a new model with the same parts that were good about the BDM's back cataloge. If it was lost, I would buy it again because it is a slick and well produced metal album with the unique BDM sound. Recommended // 8
kaizerkhan13, on october 23, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The vocalist of TBDM describes their music as melodic death metal, and because i don't know more about the bands sound than they do, I'm gonna go ahead and agree with that. Machine like drumming, melodic basslines and fast, thrashy and sometimes technical guitar work rounded out by the amazing vocal and lyrical work of Trevor makes this, in my opinion, the best TBDM album yet. Especially now that they have Ryan Knight in their ranks, this band has come together with their first truly collaborative effort; Bart really developed his own bass style on this album, Shannon has somehow gotten faster and more precise on drums, and Brian's writing has worked in fast palm muted riffs with big, epic chord progressions. The production value of this album is really good, you can hear every cymbal hit, every bass note, every note in the chords, just a solid production effort here. // 10
Lyrics: I have to say, Trevors lyrics have always given me chills but this album highlights some of his best work. With topics ranging from cryogenic freezing (I Will Return) to birth defects (A Selection Unnatural) to evil, manipulative lovers (Eyes of Thousand) his storytelling has reached its peak. Eloquent vocabulary and brutal delivery make thee some of his most chilling lyrics yet. The lyrics to That Which Erodes the Most Tender of Things...wow. This is just creepy, a story of a mother feeding and caring for her stillborn baby in a display of unwavering love and denial that her child never had a chance to live. The sneering commentary on A Selection Unnatural ("can it feel human love but who would waste a drop on such a thing") is just amazing; this is a story of a child born with horrific birth defects (eyeless, no arms or legs, weak). Trevors lows and highs (no mids here, folks) are great, and steadily improving with each album. Since I haven't heard too many people able to roll their r's in death metal aside from him and his ability to put emotion behind his lyrics earns him a 10 in my book. // 10
Overall Impression: This has been a good year for metal (if you're not a metalhead, no worries I'm sure theres been some good stuff for you too). New Suicide Silence, Job For A Cowboy, Dethklok, Emmure, August Burns Red, Devil Wears Prada, Mastodon, etc. This has been one of my favorite albums of the year. Ryan Knights solos and willingness to actually write music has solidified the sound of this band; Shannon has come a long way since drumming for All That Remains, bringing actual groove to this album along with brutal blasting and insane double bass work. Bart's bass is mastered here; fast, heavy, but at times melodic and independent of the guitars completely. Guitar work in the rhythm section has improved just as much as the lead. And, again, the lyrics are just beautiful for a death metal album. My favorite songs are Eyes of Thousand, I Will Return, Necropolis, and A Selection Unnatural; then again, I can listen to this entire album on repeat and still love it. I'd buy it again, defnitely, because I like to support the music I love, and also its a badassed album. The dvd that comes with is pretty funny too, documenting their European tour with Ryan Knights first shows. I'm trying to stay objective here but I really can't think of anything I don't like on this album...aside from it being harder to play than Nocturnal. // 10
BlackValor93, on january 21, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album was hard to love at first. You have to listen to the entire album all the way through to really know how you feel about it. In my opinion, its death metal at its best. By far one of the best (if not the best) death metal album of 2009. Brian uses his superior skills to create technical yet melodic riffs and beastly rythym sections behind Ryan Knight's blazing solos. John's departure shows a new direction for the band, but still keeps that classic TBDM sound. Bart's maniacal bass playing shines on this album, thundering in every track. Shannon's godly drumming does not disappoint either. Every fill fits perfectly to the riffs. He blasts his way through every song, staying tight and precise. Ryan brings something totally new to the band with a new solo style. John's classic Minor Scale solo's were good but Ryan coming in adds a whole new perspective. // 10
Lyrics: Trevor is one of the best vocalists in the metal scene today. His growls knock you on your ass and his high screams kick you while your down. His lyrics are brutal and vicious from the 1st song to the last. His imagery with songs like Christ Deformed, Death Panorama, and I Will Return show superior descriptive skill. When you listen to a song while reading the lyrics, you can picture what hes talking about like it was a book. He uses Science Fiction multiple times in the album but its still not overused. One song, however, its difficult to tell what the song is about. "Throne of Lunacy" is a great song but the meaning of the song is unclear. His use of Satanic shock lyrics shows the darker, evil side of the band. They breathe new life into death metal by taking classic themes and making them better. The vocals flow with the music, especially in the chorus of "Black Valor". His word choice is very good as well. The way he words his sentences makes it sound even more brutal. // 10
Overall Impression: This album, like I said before, is by far one of the best metal albums of 2009. The album was pretty high on a lot of "Billboard Top" charts, landing No. 5 on one of them. This band deserves a lot more credit than some people give them. Being labeled as "metalcore" does not do the band any justice. Their skill is far above that of metalcore. Not bashing metalcore (I like a lot of metalcore bands) but TBDM doesn't fit in that category. They are a true death metal band, evolving with every album. This band has a very promising future. I loved every song on the album. No disappointments at all. The best songs were Necropolis, Christ Deformed, Death Panorama, That Which Erodes the Most Tender, and I Will Return. Not a single bad song. If I lost this cd, I would go out of my way to buy it again. I recommend to anyone that has not listened to this band, to listen to them as soon as possible. This band: one of the best death metal bands in existance. // 10
unregistered, on february 12, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: A fine example of melodic death metal, this album took what The Black Dahlia Murder did on their previous album and perfected it. With Nocturnal, they grooved out their own niche in the extreme metal world. They kept the same idea on this record and amplified it ten times over. The guitars hold a snarling sense of grit while expressing every last note in completely clarity, even more so than on Nocturnal. Rhythm guitarist Brian Eschbach keeps the melodically brutal riffs coming on this album, and even took help from Bart (bass) and Ryan (lead guitar) for several of the songs. Ryan Knight flexes his muscles on his first album with this band and rips the solos to pieces. He adds his own flavor to the solos of this effort, but keeps the melodic style in tact that Dahlia is known for. The solos on this album are significantly shreddier than on past albums, and will take some getting used to. He also has a much more mid heavy sound with his guitar on his solos than former guitarist John Kempainen did. The bass lines on this album are much more noticeable than on past works, standing in the mix of things much better. They keep up to speed with the quick working guitars and even break off into their own separate melody at certain points on the album (notably on "Denounced, Disgraced"). The drums are as fast and tight as ever, and then some. Shannon Lucas has improved his playing to an all time high with this effort, with tricky double bass patterns, lightning fast blasts (notably on "Death Panorama"), and interesting fill and groove work. Each song on the album identifies itself from the others, holding its own specific feel and sound. There is not any one "bad" song on this album, but some of the standouts (besides their widely popular single "Necropolis") are "Black Valor", "I Will Return", and "A Selection Unnatural". My personal favorite is "That Which Erodes the Most Tender of Things" which has worked its way up to one of my all time favorite songs. The album will take several listens from top to bottom to fully comprehend and enjoy, even for the most devoted of Dahlia fans. There's simply too much offered on this album to take it all in with one listen. // 10
Lyrics: Trevor Strnad has always been on of, if not my favorite extreme metal vocalists. He altered the sound of his low growls on this album from Nocturnal, which some may be a little weary of at first, but they grow on you. He uses an almost mid ranged growl on this record, to add a little flavor in between the high rasps and low grows. His highs are even raspier and, to put it simply, higher than on previous efforts. He exhibits wonderful ability to control and sustain his vocals (notably on the pre-solo verse of "Eyes of Thousand"). His lyrical work on this album surpasses anything he has ever done. Strnad keeps with themes that Dahlia is known for, and adds a few new styles to the mix this time around, dipping into sci-fi elements of a horribly disfigured child confounding scientists and doctors alike ("A Selection Unnatural") and cryogenics ("I Will Return"). However, being Trevor, he manages to work elements of anti-religion into most of the songs on the album. His lyrics also hold great amounts of poetic beauty, as in the past. "That Which Erodes the Most Tender of Things" rivals Nocturnal's "Deathmask Divine" with its fixation on loving someone too much to let go of them after death. "That Which Erodes..." exhibits some of the finest lyrical work I've ever read, pulling at the heartstrings of the reader with its story about a mother who cannot give up her stillborn child and treats it as though it were alive. I didn't think Strnad's lyrical and vocal skills could improve much from their past album, but he managed to prove me wrong. // 9
Overall Impression: This album might as well be melted into my car stereo, for it has been playing since I bought it. This album is my personal favorite of 2009, and a strong contender for an all time favorite slot. It is definitely comparable to Dahlia's previous effort, Nocturnal, and identifies itself from their first two albums. For those who want to stick more with the darker sound and themes, Nocturnal may be more for you. Deflorate, however, is a much more finely tuned and expanded version of Nocturnal. With several listens from top to bottom, I feel this album can take the title of the bands best to date. // 10