Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 8
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