Unhallowed Review

artist: black dahlia murder date: 12/07/2007 category: compact discs
black dahlia murder: Unhallowed
Released: Jun 17, 2003
Genre: Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
This band has a lot of youthful energy and chops and has the potential to do something great if they can come up with something less imitative and more their own.
 Sound: 8.8
 Lyrics: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.7 
 Users rating:
 9.2 
 Votes:
 46 
reviews (5) 14 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.3
Unhallowed Reviewed by: themetaler, on july 23, 2007
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: As the kick off to the Black Dahlia Murder's debut album, the two minute intro piece starts with distorted sounds and voices, and slowly breaks into a slow, trudging, tortured riff. But don't think slow for long; forty seconds later the true opener blasts out of the gate, entitled "Funeral Thirst". This speeding, twin guitar attack is the Black Dahlia Murder's choice weapon, along with the talented also-duel "death metal" and "black metal" vocals styles. After the first few songs conclude, one feels a definite repetition, much like many other metal bands in the vein of BDM. Rarely do they stop to take a breath, save for the opener of "Contagion" and the excellent "Thy Horror Cosmic". Even with an acquired taste for the extreme, many will find the sound on this album re-used in most songs. But after leaving the disc in for several days, it almost becomes hard to take out - even if it is repetitive at times, BDM do what they do, and they do it well. The vocals are intense, the guitars are fast and the drums are played with immense technicality. The production is also good, albeit a bit dry. // 7

Lyrics: Already established that the vocals are some of the best to surface in the mass of interchangeable metal bands, the lyrics are just as competent. Vocalist Trevor Strnad favorite topic would appear to be zombie bloodlusts and Armageddon, but it sure as hell fits the music well. The lyrics do not sound like they were written by a pre-pubescent teen outcast longing to fit in, but more, well, by a very pissed guy. For the moment the lyrics suit them well and are very well-written, but, like the music, repetition keeps the album from truly being classic. // 8

Overall Impression: For being a relatively new band (EPs were released previous to Unhallowed), the Black Dahlia Murder show more potential than 9/10 of the new bands hitting the scene. Their pure intensity drives this album, but their one-mindedness like that is also the flaw. Highlight tracks would be "Funeral Thirst", "Contagion", "Thy Horror Cosmic", and "The Blackest Incarnation". BDM know what they're doing on their instruments, how to write memorable lyrics and how to write solid songs. All they need to learn is how to do it with a little more originality and flair. That said, in a few albums, the Black Dahlia Murder may be unstoppable. // 7

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overall: 10
Unhallowed Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 10, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, I'm kinda surprised I'm the first reviewer for this as it's an incredible album on the whole, but here I go. The production on this cd is impeccable. The drums sound crisp and are played at breakneck speed, might I add. The guitars are harmonized on nearly all counts except for some instances, say the intros to Contagion or Elder Misanthropy, and are played really quite well on ESP guitars. The vocals are nicely executed, and vary to give the listener some fun. There's also some overdubs on Funeral Thirst and Apex. One thing that I particularly love is at the end of Apex, when Trevor talks in his deep voice, and gives the steps to proper cannibalism. One thing that they could have definetely improved on is the mixing of the bass. My theory is that they wanted the listener to focus on the other three aspects involved in the songs (vocals, drums, and guitars). But seriously, you can't ever hear it! Oh well, a great thing that The Black Dahlia Murder have done on here is mix two styles. Death metal, brought by the drumming and vocals; and melodic death metal, given by the harmonized guitar parts. I actually rate the sound 4.5 because of the bass. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics, I feel, are not at all cheesy or stupid. They fit the atmosphere of the music very well, and it seems that since nearly all the members are fans of Cradle Of Filth, Vehemence, and Cannibal Corpse, they're picking their topics well. Trevor wrote all the lyrics on here, and shows that he can stay with the gore-y sides of Cannibal Corpse and Vehemence, while also giving us the poetic sides of Cradle Of Filth. The song listing is as follows: 01. Unhallowed - no lyrics. 02. Funeral Thirst - a corpse being brought back from the dead to kill others. 03. Elder Misanthropy - all about an immortal. Misanthrope means hater o mankind. 04. Contagion - zombies. It's their side of the story. 05. When The Last Grave Has Emptied - zombies again, but this one is from the Human Race's point of view. 06. Thy Horror Cosmic - it's a love song for Satan. 07. The Blackest Incarnation - tells the tale of a werewolf. 08. Hymn For The Wretched - a tribute to all things ghastly on Earth. 09. Closed Casket Requiem - about two lovers who murder each other. 10. Apex - about a cannibal. Trevor indeed has skills as a death metal vocalist, and is the star of the show, along with their drummer Cory. // 10

Overall Impression: It does compare to other albums by other artists, but this was their debut, people! The best songs on here are Closed Casket Requiem, Apex, Thy Horror Cosmic, and When The Last Grave Has Emptied. I love everything on here, except the fact that there is no bass guitar! If it were stolen, I'd order it again. There's no sense in saying I'll kill someone for stealing a cd, even if it is as awesome as this one. Later. I give it a four point five for lack of bass guitar. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Unhallowed Reviewed by: indiecult99, on april 20, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this album is nothing short of explosive, when the intro 1st track fades out and goes into the second track, the actual beginning of the cd, Funeral Thirst the band just fills the air with heavy breaks, technical guitar riffs, tight, clean, legit metal. This whole album is really fast-paced, speedy, high energy music. This whole disc, from the lyrics that I've read, is just one huge nightmare with twists and turns and medievil tales of salvation and things of that nature. the singer really gets into some detail of warriors and such. The whole sound of the album, guitars, drums, bass, vox, altogether make one powerhouse of a sound. The only downside is that listening to the whole album, you think you're almost listening to one song the whole way through. sort of sounds the same. but it doesn't mean that the sound is bad. // 9

Lyrics: You have to sort of be into black metal type lyrics to be into these lyrics, although, even with the nice scream he has going for him, the singer isn't too clear, but the lyrics are alot with warriors and forefathers, and well. to be honest with you killing people. It's the type of stuff I put in before my hockey games or even to get revved up for a show I'm playing. The singer actually has a good voice in my opinion. I like the high and lows he does and the mids are just as good. He doesn't clog the music up by singing all of the time, they allow guitar solos, unlike most of todays metal bands, so he's willing to back off for a little while which I also like. gives you a chance to really hear the music. All in all the guys good. I suppose his writing could be a bit more contemperary though. // 8

Overall Impression: I would pretty easily compare this album to others that they've done, it's not any different from the other stuff they did, which is good because the other stuff is great, it's just new good stuff. not much has changed. I actually bought this album after hearing the second song, Funeral Thirst, great guitar work. really nice solo. just an overall good feel to the song. One thing that I wish BDM would do some more of is some really slow breakdowns, they have a brutal sound but they can't seem to slow it down, they'd have some sick breaks if they'd throw em in. I'd probably buy this cd again if it came down to it. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Unhallowed Reviewed by: indiecult99, on march 16, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this album has a very strong metal feel with a subtle doom feel to it, but nothing close to what I would call doom metal. The solos are clean and good enough to impress listeners. In my mind this is what metal today should sound like. Fast, brutal, technical. I've picked up some of these songs on guitar and they're fun to play and just challenging enough to keep you concetrated. There is somewhat of a storyline I feel along with this album. Something to do with a man dying, and coming back alive which is really brutal for the listener to follow along with. It's enough to keep your attention. // 8

Lyrics: The singer of this band, is excellent in my mind. His highs and lows and everything in between really blend with the music. Bring everything together in the end which makes for a great overall sound in the end. The lyrics go right along with the music, with mentioning of death, rebirth, creatures, corpses, revenge, etc. I think they match the music and sound of the band perfectly. The lyrical stories in the songs are really extensive and I like that alot. I actually took the time to read through a couple of the lyrics and see what the band was trying to get across and it's really some brutal stuff. Very imaginative. // 9

Overall Impression: The Black Dahlia Murder are a band that I compare bands like slayer, in that they come out with great stuff and never really change their sound so much that it sounds like a different band when you change albums. I think some of the impressive songs on the album are ones like Hymn For the Wretched, Funeral Thirst and When The Last Grave has Emptied. I really just love the riffs that the guitar players through onto this disc and how melodic everything can be. With really fast blast beats, and sometimes unclear parts of the songs, it sounds really great when everything is brought to a moment of clarity and everything just fits together with a harmonized lead part, or a solo. Great album from a great band. // 9

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overall: 9
Unhallowed Reviewed by: dmso248, on december 07, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I first got into the band because I found out they live in Waterford, Michigan, About 5 minutes away from me. I heard them and was instantly addicted to the perfectely harmonized guitar and thrashing vocals. The way Trevor Strnad was overdubbed to sound like two lead singers was brillantly done. It switches between a high black metal screech and a hard-nose growl. The structure of the songs are too much for words, simply amazing. BDM is the most melodic, and one of the hardest, metal bands out there. BDM is proof that you can be melodic and still have blast beats that will rip your limbs off. I respect the fact that BDM dosent use those cliche, open chord breakdowns, it dosent fit into the kind of music they create. they only use breakdowns that fit, and not the kind As Blood Runs Black uses (Although ABRB is a decent band). // 10

Lyrics: I am personally not a huge fan of the way Trevor writes on this album. I personally like Miasma-type lyrics, they have to do with reality, things that we can relate to. Although this is overall a better album than Miasma. Though the lyrics are cohesive with the instrumentals, it's just personally not my style. // 7

Overall Impression: My favorite songs on this album are really all of them. Unhallowed is a brillant intro, which leads into funreal thirst. And when you hear that wicked blast beat in the beginning of funreal thirst, you know this is no 'run of the mill' metalcore band, this is a true death metal band. This is a must-have for all death metal fans. // 10

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