Ritual review by The Black Dahlia Murder

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  • Released: Jun 17, 2011
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (83 votes)
The Black Dahlia Murder: Ritual
0

Sound — 9
The Black Dahlia Murder has about as unique of a sound one can get when it comes to the death metal scene. The combination of Trevor Strnads trademark vocals, Ryan Knight's leads, Shannon's drumming, Bart's bass, and Brian's unreal rhythm section did not disappoint with "Ritual". TBDM come forth with their darkest album yet, (special honours to the runner up "Nocturnal") the thing that sets "Ritual" above "Nocturnal" is their albility to combine melody, thrash, atmosphere, and shred into 12 damn good pieces of music. Standout songs for me, only 4 full listens in, are "Moonlight Equilibrium", "The Window", "The Raven", and "Blood In The Ink". This entire album is strong, but these are simply amazing songs.

Lyrics — 10
Trevor Strnad is about as close to a poet as a cynical, pot-smoking, metalhead can get. The lyrics are dark as always, and they fit the sound almost perfectly. Anyone who knows TBDM's lyrics knows that they can be dark, satanic, and at times incredibly gruesome ("Climactic Degradation" anyone?) and they don't disappoint again. A lyric that can't seem to get out of my head is from "Den Of The Piquerist": "Your blood, your blood, your blood is what I need!" It will probably haunt me for a while, but damn does it summarize the brutality and monstrosity that these lyrics are. The song titles also deserve honourable mention in here, some of the most creative I've ever heard, like "On Stirring Seas Of Salted Blood", "Carbonized In Cruciform", "Den Of The Piquerist" (google picquerist is something incredibly messed up) and "Malenchantments Of The Necrosphere"

Overall Impression — 10
The most impressive songs are as I said above, "Moonlight Equilibrium", "The Window", "The Raven", and "Blood In The Ink". The others are awesome in their own respect also. Love the brutality, the melody, and the heavy? (so close to being a poet). I would get this again as soon as possible if it were stolen, and whoever stole better pray he doesn't end up in my Picquerist den.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mark Roxx
    Has anyone else noticed all their album titles are 1 word with three syllables? Unhallowed, Miasma, Nocturnal, Deflorate, Ritual.
    EpiExplorer
    Its hit and miss with me. Riffs are surprisingly decent, vocals aren't bad, remind me of Disarmonia Mundi. Moonlight Equilibrium actually has a pretty good chorus.
    I can't find any better use of stringed instruments (barring Ne Obliviscaris).
    Thats a pretty bold statement, if I'm honest. There's been a huge sweep of orchestral metal this year which crushes that song, most notably The Great Mass and Deconstruction albums (leaks, ftw). And also:
    There's no grooves on this album. You know, the part of the song where the drums go into halftime and the guitar plays a riff that you can just groove to?
    Maybe they decided not to be generic anymore?
    63Dylan63
    "Your blood, your blood, your blood is all I need!" I was screaming that shit all day at work. Easily the best song on the album. It's been stuck in my head for days.
    FryingNemo
    I don't understand how the UG Team thought this was a step up from Deflorate. Even Trevor seems to think this is their best album. They just seemed really out of their element to me. Most of the riffs were boring (barring a few of course), Ryan's influence seemed to bleed into the album a bit too much, and there was just less energy about this album, especially in Trevor's vocals. "Trevor does only two things: He goes high, he goes low." True, but he didn't have the energy here that he did in Deflorate. Deflorate felt so much more alive than this album. The pulse dropped a bit this time around, I think. There are only a couple of songs on this album I actually like; Stirring Seas, Moonlight Equilibrium is alright, Carbonized in Cruciform...otherwise I don't really understand the praise.
    krazyjap1941
    Dont get me wrong, this is a kick ass album. I love this album. BUT its missing that ole Black Dahlia sound. I used to be able to tell them apart from other bands so easily. I miss trevor's highs, Thats what i loved about TBDM. Also the groove of there songs are gone. They're choruses arent as hypnotizing.
    Mistermetee
    I like this album but the lack of Trevor's high vocals is a big dissapointment. Its not nearly as good as other TBDM albums. Overall a bit of a dissapointment but i won't count it against them because this is the only time they've ever dissapointed
    mtllica
    This album is such a step-up from Deflorate (which I still loved). After a few listens it's tied for me as my favorite TBDM album alongside Nocturnal. "Carbonized in Cruciform" is easily my favorite song from it.
    symphyses
    Nothing will beat Nocturnal or Miasma for me, but I definitely like this better than Deflorate, not that Deflorate was a bad album. I love all their music. This was a step in the right direction.
    clwnz
    krvolok wrote: Well actually yes,post-vowel shift pronunciations of "ritual" can be two and three syllable,depending on the accent on the "tu",where it most often becomes "/t".Miasma is of greek origin and it's first(of two) syllables contains a rising diphthong which is commonly,though incorrectly pronounced as eye,instead of "eea",most words from greek and latin have inherited their syllabication from the origials.Unhallowed has four syllables by the addition of the past participle.
    I like how Google searching "syllables" brings up all that information. Gotta love Google.
    Deathmethod
    I am so stoked for this album! If it is as good as I've been hearing then I may have to find a way to catch the Summer Slaughter tour... selling my left kidney is a possibility.
    derangedxzombie
    Very good review! And is the oddity around the start of Den Of The Piquist the strange high "wah" guitar noise (I'm guessing it's that anyway lol) it sounds like a person screaming. And I love the lone base playing, never really get to hear that before. The solo's are amazing, some of them were abit average to me on Deflorate but ryan's own style fits in with this album wonderfully.
    krvolok
    Seth Shadows wrote: krvolok wrote: Mark Roxx wrote: Has anyone else noticed all their album titles are 1 word with three syllables? Unhallowed, Miasma, Nocturnal, Deflorate, Ritual. Several of those are missing one or have an extra syllable. ... Uhh... No. They all have three syllables and they're one word... Count how many times your jaw drops while saying the word xD Go back to school.
    Well actually yes,post-vowel shift pronunciations of "ritual" can be two and three syllable,depending on the accent on the "tu",where it most often becomes "/t".Miasma is of greek origin and it's first(of two) syllables contains a rising diphthong which is commonly,though incorrectly pronounced as eye,instead of "eea",most words from greek and latin have inherited their syllabication from the origials.Unhallowed has four syllables by the addition of the past participle.
    kopaczkiller
    Mark Roxx wrote: Has anyone else noticed all their album titles are 1 word with three syllables? Unhallowed, Miasma, Nocturnal, Deflorate, Ritual.
    Why have I yet to notice that? And great to hear the albums getting good feedback, Im not listening to any sons(other than moonlight equilibrium) until mine comes in the mail. Deflorate kind of fell flat for me and nocturnal still stands as my favorite, with unhallowed close behind.
    Seth Shadows
    krvolok wrote: Mark Roxx wrote: Has anyone else noticed all their album titles are 1 word with three syllables? Unhallowed, Miasma, Nocturnal, Deflorate, Ritual. Several of those are missing one or have an extra syllable.
    ... Uhh... No. They all have three syllables and they're one word... Count how many times your jaw drops while saying the word xD Go back to school.
    SoulSyphon
    LOVED THIS ALBUM. I was so let down from other releases from earlier in the year, but this album makes up for it. "A Shrine to Madness" is easily the best album opener they've had since "Everything Went Black". Although, while I love the "Blood in the Ink", I still feel that "I Will Return" is easily the best album closer they have ever written.
    larrytheguitar
    The tapping on the second half of the Blood in the Ink solo is amazingly refreshing; great job, Ryan
    RiffYourFaceOff
    I thoroughly enjoyed this album and I like that Trevor used his low growl more than on their previous efforts and Ryan's solos rip, especially on "The Window". This is probably my favorite of their albums so far.
    Loki_37
    Don't really miss the grooves. Don't really miss the breakdowns either. Other than Salted, I don't think I heard anything like that, and the breakdown there was surprisingly cool. Definitely their best album for me. I've always been a watcher of theirs, but never really a fan beyond a 3-4 songs per album. This album just sounds like the whole package. @Official review; Good review, but there was a Ne ObliviscarisRitualNe Obliviscaris error there! Also, BDM may be on the way up, or they may just be heading towards stagnation. Bands rarely follow up this kind of creative change with more creative change. Hope they do though, good album.
    6StringSlaughtr
    I think I see what you're saying about the lack of the 'grooves'. We're talking about parts like the choruses for "To a Breathless Oblivion" and "Deathmask Divine", or the outro for "I Will Return" right? I get the same feeling for the chorus to "A Shrine to Madness" and a couple riffs on some other songs, but you're right, this album is definitely a big step for them. I love it.
    shadowsoldier08
    i was extremely dissapointed with ritual. its not a bad album, but it just doesnt have that classic BDM-esque sound to it. i like the grooviness that some of the songs have, but they just seem overall too mellow. i give them credit for not pidgeonholding themselves to the same sound album after album, but unfortunatly i liked that sound better
    guitaristren
    I have listened to this album three times already. It's really good and I like it a lot. I might consider buying it.
    EpiExplorer
    ^ He was referring to breakdowns, not overall groove. Groove is fine when it works, but BDM dont really want to be accosiated with music in the charts, as this album shows.
    Panasonic3
    EpiExplorer wrote: Its hit and miss with me. Riffs are surprisingly decent, vocals aren't bad, remind me of Disarmonia Mundi. Moonlight Equilibrium actually has a pretty good chorus. I can't find any better use of stringed instruments (barring Ne Obliviscaris). Thats a pretty bold statement, if I'm honest. There's been a huge sweep of orchestral metal this year which crushes that song, most notably The Great Mass and Deconstruction albums (leaks, ftw). And also: There's no grooves on this album. You know, the part of the song where the drums go into halftime and the guitar plays a riff that you can just groove to? Maybe they decided not to be generic anymore?
    the great mass was average. no hooks. definitely a step away from communion. and second, what the hell is wrong with groove? i tell you, when someone says something is groovy, its making them move, and isn't that what music is supposed to do? i hear the reviewer when he says this album lost that groove (only slightly, being nit-picky here) and there was a hole where that groove went up and danced away. their new tricks make up for it, but not entirely. still a solid release by a band trying to get away from everyone who tried to copycat them. i'll be listening to this album forever. i give it a 7.3 great job black dahlia!! i'll be seeing you on the stage XD
    Disturbdkornkid
    Love Black Dahlia Murder and am super pumped to get this album. They've only gotten better with time and this excites me.
    krvolok
    Mark Roxx wrote: Has anyone else noticed all their album titles are 1 word with three syllables? Unhallowed, Miasma, Nocturnal, Deflorate, Ritual.
    Several of those are missing one or have an extra syllable.