Nocturnal Review

artist: black dahlia murder date: 09/03/2009 category: compact discs
black dahlia murder: Nocturnal
Release Date: Sep 18, 2007
Label: Metal Blade
Genres: Death Metal/Black Metal
Number Of Tracks: 10
The climate of the metal scene has never been more primed for the aural punishment that Nocturnal offers in spades. Prepare to revel in the abysmal horror that is The Black Dahlia Murder.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 9.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.4 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 125 
reviews (10) 47 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Nocturnal Reviewed by: TheUncreator, on september 24, 2007
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Guitars: Brian Eschbach and John Kempainen are a marvelous guitar duo, Kempainens blistering smooth leads over Brians relentless riffs will make your head bang till your spinal chord begs for mercy! The riffs are some of TBDM's best in my oppinion, this album is an arsenal of heavy. If you like the manic fast riffs, then this album should do it for you, The solos as well are fantastic! smooth melodys or super fast shred, they are just great to listen to. Ryan "Bart" Williams is a great bass player, with solid riffs and some really cool fills, the bass acts like a machine that makes the album that much more heavier. Merciless demons surely fuel this man on his quest for heavy, amazing performance! When TBDM lost there old drummer, I was somewhat dissapointed, because he was an amazing drummer, well with Shannon Lucas now as TBDM's drum man, I have no worries, this man is incredibly solid, and his drum sound is fantastic. He plays some amazing grooves and of course, the machine gun double bass! Trevor Strnad uses a variety of vocal types. From the higher shrieks seen in black metal, to the low Growls seen in Death Metal, he covers his bases well. The demonic voice of Trevor fuels the record to even higher status' of heavy, fantastic performances. // 9

Lyrics: If you are one of those people who love the gore aspect of some death metal acts, you shouldn't be far from home. Besides the gore there are some very interesting horror elements that remind me of Horror masterminds such as H.P. Lovecraft, lyrics that aren't focused on the gore necessarily, but have a great Horror story feel to them, Overall there dark, evil, and just plain awesome. // 9

Overall Impression: Fantastic all around, nary a flaw, it's a brutal album that all Black Dahlia Murder fans should enjoy. Fast, Heavy, and ever so Merciless, Black Dahlia Prove with this album that they are a force of metal to be reckoned with, if you like there previous releases "Unhallowed" or "Miasma" you will enjoy this album. Or if you just like heavy music and haven't heard TBDM, here is a good record to buy. Go out, buy it, listen to, and headbang till your head falls off! // 9

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overall: 10
Nocturnal Reviewed by: SinisterScythe, on december 08, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: There old album miasma was one of the best albums I heard in death metal today, but when nocturnal hit the shelves and stores I was stunned, I was stunned by the new sound and potential they put into there creation of music. There are many different styles used in this new album from vocals, screaming, drumming, soloing, riffs and many more. This album has so much new things added to it. // 10

Lyrics: There lyrics are as usual as any other death metal would sing or scream. But they are different they use screaming and growling like vocals, compliance in the lyrics are different from there old stuff. They added new soundings and recording skill to there music. The singers skill is much better then the last of there albums. New screaming/better and better growling. I actually like these lyrics way better then there old lyrics from the other albums. Best yet. // 10

Overall Impression: Compare TBDM to no one 'cause they have there own style of music. The most impressive about this CD is there new sound, style and skill. I love how they have new lyrics, riffs and soundings and the best of it they don't give up, I dislike how they have some songs that sound the same like other bands sound. Other then that it's pretty good overall. If this CD was stolen I would buy like 3 more and give 2 of them to a friend to listen to. The best CD I purchased yet. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Nocturnal Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 16, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: When you anticapate a albums unvail some feeling spring into your stomach but above all "will this album transcend the one before it." Interpretations differ but one solid observation is that nocturnal surmounted it's siblings in technacality, creativity, and overall depth. TBDM fandom spent two years agonizing whether the next creation would have the same elements unique to the band itself due to change in staff and unfounded gossip of resolve. Though with Nocturnal lines have been crossed TBDM has crossed them with the same ambiguous hate induced aura as it's predecessors. TBDM have recieved much criticism concerning originialty and has made a descent attempt to rise above mainstream. Vocalist Trevor Strnad has made huge hurdles in the release chorally and lyrically. Trevor still holding a solid grip on his transition from his low roar to a howl rembling somewhat of a howl. // 9

Lyrics: Vocalist Trevor Strnad has made huge hurdles in the release chorally and lyrically. Trevor still holding a solid grip on his transition from his low roar to a howl rembling somewhat of a howl. Every phrase in harmony with the rest of the track. Coming into every song Trevor equips himself with an arsenal of verbal weapons he throws at his tenuous discretion. Compiled with his range of different voices resymboling that of perpetual darkness though concepts of humanities pale insticts are thrown into the cauldron. In it's great Nocturnal becomes an elixir so potent with disease and filth if there is a god he would have trouble "taking it to the dome." // 10

Overall Impression: Every phrase in harmony with the rest of the track. From each original member of the lineup the listener can really grasp how much they've developed as musicians coming from Miasma. Partly by the balance they have created in the heavy riffs but at the same time keeping a smooth and sharp melody When listening you can almost feel the amount of labor cultivated into this masterpiece. You can't help but give this album recognition. // 9

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overall: 7.7
Nocturnal Reviewed by: hopespaul, on november 20, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: If you have heard the black dahlia murder sound, then this CD doesn't offer much new things as compared to their previous work. If you haven't heard the black dahlia murder yet, then check it out if you like At The Gates. Nocturnal starts out with a full song, unlike their previous two works that had an intro. The sound is much more mature than miasma, and more interesting to listen to than unhallowed. However, the overall speed decreased, creating a much darker atmosphere, even though BDM guitarists haven't learned any new scales since unhallowed. Nocturnal is pretty much unhallowed with more interesting guitar riffs, refined vocals, and darker overall vibe. I was a little dissapointed with this CD just because when miasma came out it brought a whole new atmosphere to BDM, but nocturnal steers further towards unhallowed. The biggest problem with this album is that nothing really changed about the band. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics are dark and rather interesting to read together with the music playing. Obviously, it is all about "necromantic sin" and "drinking the blood from the child's broken neck". However, the last song on the CD brings a hint of satanism to the mix, which was a little interesting. The singer sounds much more refined than in the previous cd, and by that I mean that it is possible to understand what he's saying. the problem is that I can't stop thinking about slaughter of soul whenever I listen to him. // 9

Overall Impression: Black Dahlia Murder awoke the melodic death metal scene with unhallowed, but there are not many improvements in this CD besides more solid guitar work. If you are a fan, buy this CD. if you are on the edge, download "Everything Went Black", "I Worship Only What You Bleed", "deathmask Divine", or "Warborn". Overall, this is Unhallowed repackaged with new guitar riffs. // 7

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overall: 10
Nocturnal Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Black Dahlia Murder has never ceased to impress. For lack of a better word to describe each part of the music on the this album, it's just straight up intelligent. I've never heard a band that can tell a story like BDM. The guitar parts are an original twist on the dark harmonized and tremolo music that comes from Europe, and they add an almost hardcore element to there unrelenting speed. The Vocals use a wide range of screams and an unusual pronunciation of words to really make you feel your in the music. Their new drummer, former All that Remains drummer, Shannon Lucas is unbelievably talented and manages to break away from the typical all blasting and double bass drums of death metal. He takes the said blasting and double bass and puts it to brilliant beats making the music more epic and deep than most death metal Bands. The product of all these elements is a dark, twisted, methodical, epic master piece. // 10

Lyrics: As in past albums, Trevor Strnard has once again managed to redefine death metal lyrics. He tells a story so well you almost cringe while your reading the lyrics. They decided to make this album along the lines of traditional death metal lyrics (death, horror, demons) but didn't sacrifice their intelligence in doing so. This album is basically a concept album. Each song's lyrics make story and each song helps you used stand the last and makes you want to know more. He's not afraid to use perversion to describe a situation and does so frequently. He still uses a higher vocabulary managing to paint a picture with words. The song themes are defined by the twisted workings of these lyrics, they almost seem to be an instrument. Trevor pronounces things quite clearly and says words a certain way to make you understand what image he wants you to see. Even if he wasn't saying anything you still know what's happening just by the way he screams. If theirs a way to make the vocals better I wouldn't know how. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is pretty much in it's of own league. The only albums I would even consider comparing it to are The Black Dahlia Murder's earlier album's like Miasma and Unhallowed. It's very difficult to say what the best songs on the album are because each song has it's own tone in yet never strays from the overall feeling of the album. Some songs you'll utterly love the first time you hear it. Songs like Deathmask Divine, Nocturnal, What a Horrible Night to have a Curse, and Everything Went Black are such examples. Where as songs like Climactic Degredation, Warborn, To a Breathless Oblivion, and Virally Yours that may take a few listens to full appreciate (not to say you wont like it at first). The best part about this album is well the whole album. This album is a breath of fresh air from the already over saturated deathcore/death metal scene. The only downfall is that this album ends. And to answer this last little bullet point (if it were stolen/lost, would you buy it again or get something else). Hell yes I would buy it again! I almost bought it twice just in case I lost a copy. I highly recommend this album to anyone who even remotely has a respect for death metal. // 10

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overall: 10
Nocturnal Reviewed by: King of Cows, on december 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Black Dahlia Murder's new greatly anticipated album Nocturnal comes out and what do I think of it? It is the greatest thing since their first album. This album was great! Fors starters the sound on this album differs from the one on the other two. The production is clean yet it has a more evil feel like Unhallowed. Guitar wise though, the band's guitarists Brian Eschback and John Kempainen keep their signature harmonic two guitar attack. Yet the riffs do not feel as repetative on this album. The riffs switch up between fast palm-muted riffs with fills to harmonic alternative picking. Other things that stand out are Bart Williams creative bass work and new drummer Shannon Lucas's drumming. Although I like the drumming on this album I like drums on Miasma better. The drums on this album were not that creative. Trevor Strand keeps up with his low growl and high pitch sream he is known for. On this album though his screams are higher and his growls are even lower. The songs on this album have a more mature well thought out feel. The band have become more accomplished song writes and it shows. The experience of writing the two other albums and being on the road have made the band better and stronger than before. // 10

Lyrics: I love the way Trevor writes. People complain about how metal has the same set of subjects to write about, but Trevor takes a clichd subject such as zombies and he turns it into something having a romantic poetic feel. The lyrics on this album range from said things as zombies to necromanticism to armageddon. All is written with the great hand of Trevor and it turns out to be something awesome! // 10

Overall Impression: Overall impression this album is great. I could not have asked for something better. I applaud The Black Dahlia Murder for their awesome triumph in writing this album. If you liked Unhallowed and Miasma or only one of the two then go purchase this album! // 10

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overall: 9.7
Nocturnal Reviewed by: somebody some1, on august 21, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: After TBDM's last album Miasma great things were expected of Nocturnal. And they do not disappoint. The album is filled with searing guitars, relentless drumming and rumbling bass fills. The guitars somehow manage to be crushingly heavy yet beautifully melodic at the same time (in an non Emo way. With a cross between death metal style riffs and stereotypical Metalcore riffs merging somewhere in the middle. When I heard that the new drummer on this album was to be ex-All That Remains drummer Shannon Lucas I must admit that I was a little bit skeptical to begin with of whether or not he would be up to standard. But I was pleasantly surprised. Although TBDM can neither be classed entirely as a Death Metal or a Metalcore band they are never going to break any major boundaries. But if your looking for something that you can listen to over and over again with out get bored or just something to chill out to then this is the album for you. // 10

Lyrics: I absolutely love the lyrics to this album. Imagine typical Death Metal lyrics combined with Cradle Of Filth style intelligence. As every song is full of brilliant quotes. Those who are in search of some good old gore and horror will be extremely happy as there are songs about everything from the apocalypse to necrophilia. Brian Eshbach despite looking like he should be in Weezer has to be one of the most talented vocalists out there at the minute. He exceeds at every type of scream from high pitched almost black metal style shrieks to evil sounding death grunts and even mid range screams. He also seems to be able to switch be able switch between them with extreme ease. Talented bastard. // 10

Overall Impression: Nocturnal is the next logical step on from Miasma. There are no major changes in sound or style yet the album seems to come together better as a hole, more so than previous efforts. There are too many stand out tracks on the album to talk about them all. Such as Everything Went Black, What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse and Warborn. But one of the best has to be Deathmask Divine which has a chorus that will stick in your head even though it's rather heavy. This would be one of the few albums I would definitely go out and re buy straight away in fact I would buy it for my friends while I was at it. // 9

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overall: 9
Nocturnal Reviewed by: hawkdude9, on april 30, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I discovered this band completely on accident. There was a chick at school who was totally scene (poser, I know) and she would wear like black dahlia murder and suicide silence shirts. She seemed pretty cool so I checked both of them out. At first I hated both of them with a passion (I still don't like suicide silence) and the song that made me hate BDM was their cover of the rolling stone's paint it black. I talked so much shit about them to my friends and never thought of them again until I heard some songs on their myspace. I was instantly blown away, and went out the next day to buy this CD. Needless to say, it's one of my all time favorite albums. As for their sound: it's amazing. It takes the fire of old school metal acts, darkens it with a little bit of black metal, and modernizes it. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics themselves are typical death metal: violence, fantasy, and just vivid story telling. The lyrics at times can be pretty weak and uninteresting. If they didn't have the vocalist they do, this section would be rated much lower, maybe a 6 or 7. Fortunately, they have Trevor Strnad on vocals which would make even the jonas brothers listenable. He usually uses a high screaming voice, not typical of most death metal, but at times has a very low, standard death metal voice, and he blends the two seamlessly. Behind Axl Rose, he is my favorite all time vocalist. // 8

Overall Impression: This is definitely BDM's finest hour (until they make another album) because they took all the things that made their last albums good and intensified them. The best songs in my opinion are "What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse", "Everything Went Black" and "I Worship Only What You Bleed". They are one of my favorite all time bands and hopefully will go on to make bigger and better things. My only complaint about them is that at times the songs sound somewhat similar, but that adds consistency so I'm not going to dwell on that. It would be hard to steal this from me since I don't have the CD copy anymore (my friend's cat got a hold of it and... Lets just say his claws are sharp) but if I burned it and it was stolen I would hunt the grab ass down and steal it back, then tear his own arms out of their sockets and beat him with them, then re-burn the CD because he probably got his fingers on the bottom of it. // 10

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overall: 10
Nocturnal Reviewed by: jonnowev, on july 10, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Black Dahlia Murder's sound has progressed to a point where it straddles a nunber of different strains of death metal. They combine strong, dark swedish melodeath style melodies with some great chugging rhythm riffs. The guitar work is sensational throughout on Nocturnal, with the solos being a particular high point. They have actual peaks and valleys of emotion, and I find them to be very unique and pleasing to the ear. They're the kind of solos that you only need to hear a few times to think 'man, I leed to learn this!'. While it's not particulary groundbreaking stuff, TBDM's sound has character and individulaty - something that you need to have in order to stand out from the swamp of identikit death metal and deathcore bands. Put simply, this album is brutal but catchy. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are almost comically morbid, but I like to see a band that don't take things too seriously. The songs are about fairly staple death metal stuff - death, suicide, sex - but they are presented in a particlarly artistic style that is amusing rather than shocking or repulsive. It's certainly not a parody, but they're not deadly serious either. The actual vocals of singer (and screecher) Trevor Stnard are, as you will probably know, much celebrated, as he goes from a low end growl to high screaming effortlessly. I can't decide whether it's the vocals or the guitar leads that win out on this album, as both are of an immense calibre. // 10

Overall Impression: Ignore anyone telling you that The Black Dahlia Muder are 'deathcore', or 'metalcore', as it simply isnt true. Nocturnal is a fantastic, virtually flawless 21st century melodic death metal release, and is possibly my favourite in the genre since the material released by At the Gates and In Flames during the 90s. This album is absolutely essential for seasonsed fans of this area of music, and could potentially act a superb bridge for newcomers to death metal as a whole. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Nocturnal Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 03, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I hate the way Metal is going these days. I'll just say that right now. Other than The Black Dahlia Murder, I can't think of a single band in the genre since 2000 whose album I'd choose to listen to over, say, the latest from Tom Waits. That being said, rather than focusing on what The Black Dahlia Murder's 'Nocturnal' did right (which is, in short, too many things to properly list), I'm going to focus on what most other contemporary Metal/Metalcore acts do WRONG that 'Nocturnal' does away with. First and foremost, I think, is the production style. Listening to other Metal bands these days, I get the impression that their albums were produced by/for a pack of juvenile jaggoffs who really didn't care if their music had any atmosphere or a genuinely appealing sound, as long as it showcased how savage they were with their instruments (for that, I place the blame almost entirely on Metallica). Nocturnal has SOOO much less of that feel to it than any newish Metal release I've ever heard. It's clear here that these guys not only know how to play, but they really care how each note sounds, and what fills the silences between them. // 9

Lyrics: Second, and I think just as important as anything else, is the way the songs on Nocturnal are written. The lyrics ain't poetry, that's for sure; but I don't think that is, or ever has been, what this genre needed. The Black Dahlia Murder seems to have something in their songwriting that most if not all newer Metal bands never even touch on: a sense of proportion. While other metallic songwriters try to clumsily drag things like emotions, philosophy or even *Ugh* Christianity, into their music, The Black Dahlia Murder stick to what their genre is good at: blood, gore, death and terror, with just a teensy little bit of low-budget sci-fi corniness, and NO philosophical edge. You could almost call TBDM's lyrics the natural evolution of Horror-Punk ("Metallic Horrorcore", maybe?). Ironically enough, considering how blunt, shallow and downright kitsch Nocturnal's lyrics are, their delivery is shockingly finessed and varied. In fact, I think Trevor Strnad's vocal style - alternating between deep growls and piercing shrieks, and most importantly KEEPING HIS NOTES with both - is a huge part of what makes this album so appealing. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said at the start of this review, I absolutely loath most popular Metal since... oh... about the mid-'80s. I make only two notable exceptions to that rule: Acid Bath, and THIS. Virtually every song on here is brilliant, but I've just got to point out the thundering blasts at the start of Everything Went Black as one of the best album openers I've ever heard, in any genre. Overall, not only do I reccomend Nocturnal to fans of Metal, both old and new, but strange as it may sound, I'd also strongly reccomend to anyone with a penchant for really, REALLY catchy tunes, because trust me - once you've got a lyrics sheet in front of you and you've gotten a feel for understanding what the hell Trevor is screaming, it's not a big leap at all to go from singing along with Sex Pistols or Misfits to screaming along with The Black Dahlia Murder. // 9

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