EverblackFeatured review by: UG Team, on june 11, 2013 2 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: I hope it's sunny where you are, because it hasn't lightened up one bit in The Black Dahlia Murder camp. The Michigan natives are clearly intent on staying pitch black all year round song titles like "Phantom Limb Masturbation" certainly don't scream summer blockbuster. The tracks themselves scream plenty of things though, so it's best to forget the context and consider new album "Everblack" as something that could have been released at any time. And in fairness to them, they've been notoriously consistent with their vicious, ghoulish metal over the years. They have no problem with sticking to a winning formula if people keep listening to it - even two significant personnel changes have failed to make them flinch.
The constant whirr of tremolo riffs and blastbeats can be quite taxing, and is not for the faint of heart nor, it must be said, for anyone who demands a great deal of variety. The dramatic title track runs up and down the diminished scale like a B-movie horror, while the aforementioned "Phantom Limb Masturbation" flirts with deathcore drudgery and the more melodic world of Gothenburg metal. With new members on bass and drums, the individual performances are absolutely immaculate and as technical as they've ever been. Watch out for some great lead work on "Every Rope a Noose" and a high note from drummer Alan Cassidy, as he breathes new life into the overused TBDM blast on "Goat of Departure." // 7
Lyrics: String-skipping, At The Gates-style riffing is barely even worthy of parody these days, so while this lot stick to that course their most unique quality undoubtedly comes from their frontman, Trevor Strnad. He lurches between highs and lows with violent, unpredictable split personality and wraps his mouth around the words so fully you can practically feel it. Without his twisted, gothic lyrics and captivating voice this band really wouldn't have a leg to stand on, especially commercially. // 7
Overall Impression: This album is a perfectly good take on an often boring style, but what value can be added on a sixth serving of more or less the same thing? Even if you have a particular taste for melodic death metal, The Black Dahlia Murder end up victims of their own consistency. Like most summertime entertainment, "Everblack" is highly polished and satisfying in the short-term, but very few risks are taken and this will ultimately struggle to stand the test of time against more creative competition. // 7
HardAttack, on june 25, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I was introduced to Black Dahlia Murder a couple of years ago by a former co-worker who is also a guitarist. I bought "Ritual" straight away on his recommendation and I have to say I was both overwhelmed and impressed as another UG user below me commented. I think Ritual is a great album from a technical & speed perspective but the songs didn't seem to stick in my head as well as other albums I bought that year.
"Everblack" maintains some of this speed but has riffs that really have me wanting to replay the songs immediately to get more. Some of the lead guitar parts make me think of other bands like Dethklok or Dimmu Borgir when I close my eyes, and seeing as Black Dahlia Murder could be lumped in the same genre with both of those bands, that might be why. I've seen people criticize this album for not being anything new, but as another user commented; that's not always a bad thing. It's a solid record with a lot of crunchy guitar with some melodic leads, vocals that are all over the place and some pace changes to keep you on your toes. // 8
Lyrics: When I first saw song titles like "Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn" and "Phantom Limb Masturbation," I couldn't help but think that the band was just trying to go for shock value and the lyrics will have nothing of value. I have to admit I was wrong.
"Dense dark forest dismal fog
a spectral force perverts these woods
flight prevails frantic escape
the unearthly horrors at each turn they wait
wandering roots they creak and move
slithering toward what mortal life intrudes
terrified eyes opened wide
ensnare her flailing limbs to the earth they are tightly tied."
While lyrics like these aren't exactly metaphoric, they paint a picture in a more elaborate way than the title would suggest. It would be good poetry for those who like to read something dark every now and then. Regarding the vocalist, the range is pretty incredible. Again somewhat similar to what Shagrath brings to Dimmu Borgir. Very high highs, and very low lows. Most metal vocalists I'm acquainted with have one range that they stay in. Trevor Strnad shows that he's flexible and is able to deliver consistent power in his delivery, even after 6 albums. // 7
Overall Impression: While this album sounds like ones they've done before, or even like ones from other bands in the same genre (like Dethklok, Dimmu Borgir, Destroyer 666), I don't see that as a bad thing. I embrace that kind of music, and "Everblack" is an album that I can see myself popping into my car stereo again and again for routine listens. "Ritual" is a good album, but not one that I can say the same of. I've only been able to give the album a few good listens thus far, but my favorite songs have got to be "Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn," "Phantom Limb Masturbation" (as embarrassing as the names are to say to a friend who isn't into these types of bands) and "Control." I'd certainly buy the album again if it was lost or stolen, as once again; it's something I could listen to casually on a loop, rather than only being able to pick out one or two individual songs that I like and the rest I could take or leave. For those of you who consider yourself metal connoisseurs, is this album taking Black Dahlia Murder to new technical or experimental territory? No. But I don't like focusing on what the album isn't, I like focusing on what it is. It's a well paced metal album with some catchy tracks, crunchy guitars with well written leads and solos underlined by a fast drummer, a flexible vocalist that delivers a lot of power, some slightly above average lyrics and even some kick a-s album art. I'm happy I laid down money for it, and I'd do it again if needed. // 8
SeanyFens, on june 25, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Black Dahlia Murder's sound has always been characterized by ferocious riffs, crazy tremolo picking, crushing double bass, and of course Trevor Strnad's vocals, which are instantly recognizable. After a slight stumble with the album "Deflorate," they brought us "Ritual," a dark album which was an instant classic. Its safe to say the "Everblack" is a darker version of ritual. The focus of the album is placed on Trevor's vocal work and Ryan Knight's guitar skills. Knight shines on this album by delivering some of the most tasteful and technically proficient solos since his Arsis days. "Everblack" is not hurt by the two new members of the band, in fact Alan Cassidy's drumming is easily comparable to Shannon Lucas' style.
Black Dahlia Murder is the pinnacle of today's Melodic Death Metal scene. They've taken the Gothenburg style, made it much heavier, made it much darker, and that's gained them legions of fans. Safe to say they've earned them. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, Trevor has a tendency to write some of the most twisted vocals in metal. He doesn't quite do the style of Cannibal Corpse, which is all out blood and gore, but he does horrify and shock the listener with his words. "Everblack" features the first track in the band's history which discusses the band's namesake. The opener "In Hell Is Where She Waits for Me" tells of Elizabeth Short's murder anonymously attending her funeral. Trevor twists this story by discussing the murderer's begrudgingly jutting erection from beneath his silken Sunday pleats.
Other lyrical standouts include the creatively titled "Phantom Hand Masturbation" and "Their Beloved Absentee." The former tells the tale of a man who longed to be rid of limbs. You won't soon forget the sound of Trevor screaming "I finally feel complete, I am now whole" right into your ears. "Their Beloved Absentee" discusses the question of "What if God simply watched us for his twisted pleasure?" Trevor takes this idea and absolutely runs with it. The last line is one you won't soon forget. "But your sadistic voyeur of a God, is entertained." // 10
Overall Impression: It seems like many bands are trying to imitate Black Dahlia's sound with little success. Even the former deathcore heavyweights Job For A Cowboy are forging a sound very similar to theirs. Black Dahlia show why they're the best at what I do. The most impressive songs on this album are "Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn," "Phantom Limb Masturbation," and "Their Beloved Absentee." "Raped in Hatred" features an amazing melody courtesy of Ryan Knight and a great performance by Strnad. I really don't have much to complain about this album. I loved "Ritual" and this was a perfect successor to it. My one qualm is that they didn't add another chorus section to "Every Rope a Noose," because that is one catchy section. Overall, I wish it was slightly longer because after the 14 songs on "Ritual," it'll be hard to survive a whole year with only 10 new Black Dahlia songs, but that's a very minor issue. Get this album, you will not regret it. // 9