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.