Sound — 9
My cousin introduced me to the Black Dahlia Murder about three weeks ago. When you first listen to the band (unless you love death metal and screaming), you will probably be taken aback. But if you like fast metal guitar and screaming reminiscient of Cradle of Filth's frontman Dani Filth, then you should get along with either their first album, Unhallowed, or their second, more "cleaned-up" album, Miasma. For you guitar maniacs, you'll love to learn that almost every single song they put out has a twenty to forty five second solo. The solos are decent, more harmonizing than technical. The drums (Shannon Lucas) are insane, and probably drive the real engine of the band. The guitars always have an interesting riff to present and 90% of the songs on Miasma are player faster than 180 bpm. So crack your neck and stretch your spine as you'll be banging your head to this gruesome product of a CD. Bottom line, a significant step up from their prior release. Look for their latest album coming out September 22, 2007, Nocturnal.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are dark and fast and evil. This CD is not for the faint of heart, but shouldn't be resisted by common metal/goth lovers. It is an excellent example of it's genre, as portrayed through it's meaningful yet extreme lyrics. It is of worthy note that the high pitched screaming and low pitched growls are performed by only one singer, Trevor Strnad. Strnad is extremely competent in convincing the singer of his ability to grunt and scream on pace and in tune. Yet, his style is repetitive throughout the album, and he should have incorporated more crescendos and tempo changes to express more vitality into the songs.
Overall Impression — 10
As far as the genre of death metal goes, it's a no brainer. You have to pick up this album to add to your collection. Unhallowed is a good buy, but Miasma is more refined, and more collaborated. If you want the rawest of the raw, but the first album. If you want raw but harmonically inclined, buy Miasma. The solos are improved in Miasma as well as the singing. Also, if you are a Rolling Stones fan, The Black Dahlia Murder has done a cover of their song, Paint it Black, a much more evil version but still very good.