Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 9
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. 8.5/10 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." 9/10 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" 9.5/10 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 Denounced, disgraced" 6.5/10 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" 6/10 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. 6.5/10 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" 9.5/10 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. 7.5/10 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" Amazing song. 10/10 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
Overall Impression — 8
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.