Everblack review by The Black Dahlia Murder

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  • Released: Jun 11, 2013
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (62 votes)
The Black Dahlia Murder: Everblack
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Sound — 7
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."

Lyrics — 7
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.

Overall Impression — 7
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.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Zan595
    "...but very few risks are taken and this will ultimately struggle to stand the test of time against more creative competition." I'll probably get some negative remarks for this, but regardless- not all music needs to be incredibly creative, innovative, and progressive. I'm a big fan of progressive metal, jazz fusion, ect., but recently it seems like every band who isn't trying to invent their own genre of music is getting negative remarks for not being "creative" enough. There is nothing wrong with just writing a melo-death album that delivers (which it did), and I personally thought the album had plenty of creativity to it.
    bassthunder
    Indeed. The reviewer apparently didn't listen very hard, because this was pretty ****ing different from the rest of their material.
    SGofawesome
    I actually find this to be the best TBDM record to date. I've been listening to it for about a week now and every single song hits home and has memorable parts to them. They took their craft and managed to make it even heavier. TBDM fan or just a general metal fan, I'm sure you will enjoy this record.
    Earthdeparture
    I agree man. This is their best work. A lot of the same formula as the other albums but it's fresher, heavier, and has some more progressive style song structures. By far the best vocal performance by Mr. Strnad too. I could say I was almost disappointed with The Ritual. This album is a good rebound from that.
    Scrubb
    Agreed. This is the only thing i've listened to for the past week. I don't usually pre-order anything but this was well worth it! Ryan's guitar style is really starting to shine thru, his solos sound amazing on this record. And the drums are solid and intense, Allen did a great job, considering the enormous shoes he's had to fill replacing Shannon.
    Skodward714
    I really enjoyed it. Phantom Limb Masturbation and Blood Mine are my personal favorite songs, but the whole album was very good. I thinks it's more deserving of an 8 than a 7.
    kLeft
    You keep mentioning that the instrument part of the music is boring and repetitive... have you ever tried to learn any of their songs on guitar? If not then I recommend doing so, because their riffs are insane and quite often very progressive. There is nothing stale about their music instrumentally, except maybe the drums which you mentioned, and all of their albums are unique in their own ways.
    Om_Bongo
    Liking it more than Ritual, but I never really gave Ritual a chance as I was in a slump. Everblack happened to come out while I revisited TBDM and have been listening to them nonstop for a few weeks. Still nothing on Nocturnal D:
    BlackDeath92
    This is probably my second favorite record from TBDM after Nocturnal! Well worth a pre-order!
    Sithmaul
    I found this to be an excellent release, Where ritual honestly overwhelmed me(too much of a good thing)... this album was exactly what I wanted. Raw, not overproduced, blacker than usual and a step in a new direction. Easily a 9/10 for long time fans.
    EpiExplorer
    As a fan of Ritual, which showed real talent for unique metal, this album is kind of like the in between that they should've released a few years before. Its certainly not bad (pretty epic in a few songs), but it actually sounds outdated by todays standard. Strnad also sounds terrible on this, his performance is really all over the place, although not due to his actual vocal talent.
    vppark2
    "they should've released a few years before. Its certainly not bad (pretty epic in a few songs), but it actually sounds outdated by todays standard. Strnad also sounds terrible on this, his performance is really all over the place, although not due to his actual vocal talent." I dont understand. Why shouldthis have been released years before? I think vocally, Strnad did well.
    frax21
    yeah I agree, especially on the voice thing, he really sounds weird, like if there's too much echo or something, or maybe they layered to many vocal tracks and it ended up sounding unnatural
    lord_nosfuratu
    Sadly I dont think they will ever top Nocturnal. They were at the height of their creativity and riff writing back then. For me, this is a logical conclusion to Ritual, both albums seem extremely mediocre and streamlined. Very simple song structures and riffs.
    minnish0831
    Agreed. Nocturnal is a fantastic album. While I have enjoyed their newer stuff, it just doesn't live up to the first 3 albums, in my opinion. Is it just me, or is the china sound on this album really ****ing annoying??
    1sheldon
    its good, just not a step forward, it's using a similar forumla, the only risk i think they really took was Into the Everblack. Even Map of Scars tries to be like I Will Return but doesn't live up to it
    BloodCellZ
    I love TBDM and I find this record very boring. Not even one song sticks out for me and I won't be purchasing it. Bummer, especially since the album art is so badass
    NICKrophagist
    BTM are back! I've been wanting this album since Nocturnal and by the sides of it, they should only get better with experience so I think the next album will be a combination of Ritual and Everblack so the best is yet to come! Loving Everblack!
    Jordan5150
    Got it in the mail today, just played it through for the first time, I'm digging Every Rope A Noose and Map of Scars. I'm gonna have to keep playing it over again from this it's giving me a Deflorate feel especially with the solos. Never fail to impress though, one of my all time favorite bands.
    Shimmeh
    I've only listened to it once, but I wasn't really a fan of it. It's good, solid metal, but the songs sortof blended together for me. It was a little boring actually :/