Sound — 10
Well, I'm kinda surprised I'm the first reviewer for this as it's an incredible album on the whole, but here I go. The production on this cd is impeccable. The drums sound crisp and are played at breakneck speed, might I add. The guitars are harmonized on nearly all counts except for some instances, say the intros to Contagion or Elder Misanthropy, and are played really quite well on ESP guitars. The vocals are nicely executed, and vary to give the listener some fun. There's also some overdubs on Funeral Thirst and Apex. One thing that I particularly love is at the end of Apex, when Trevor talks in his deep voice, and gives the steps to proper cannibalism. One thing that they could have definetely improved on is the mixing of the bass. My theory is that they wanted the listener to focus on the other three aspects involved in the songs (vocals, drums, and guitars). But seriously, you can't ever hear it! Oh well, a great thing that The Black Dahlia Murder have done on here is mix two styles. Death metal, brought by the drumming and vocals; and melodic death metal, given by the harmonized guitar parts. I actually rate the sound 4.5 because of the bass.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics, I feel, are not at all cheesy or stupid. They fit the atmosphere of the music very well, and it seems that since nearly all the members are fans of Cradle Of Filth, Vehemence, and Cannibal Corpse, they're picking their topics well. Trevor wrote all the lyrics on here, and shows that he can stay with the gore-y sides of Cannibal Corpse and Vehemence, while also giving us the poetic sides of Cradle Of Filth. The song listing is as follows: 01. Unhallowed - no lyrics. 02. Funeral Thirst - a corpse being brought back from the dead to kill others. 03. Elder Misanthropy - all about an immortal. Misanthrope means hater o mankind. 04. Contagion - zombies. It's their side of the story. 05. When The Last Grave Has Emptied - zombies again, but this one is from the Human Race's point of view. 06. Thy Horror Cosmic - it's a love song for Satan. 07. The Blackest Incarnation - tells the tale of a werewolf. 08. Hymn For The Wretched - a tribute to all things ghastly on Earth. 09. Closed Casket Requiem - about two lovers who murder each other. 10. Apex - about a cannibal. Trevor indeed has skills as a death metal vocalist, and is the star of the show, along with their drummer Cory.
Overall Impression — 10
It does compare to other albums by other artists, but this was their debut, people! The best songs on here are Closed Casket Requiem, Apex, Thy Horror Cosmic, and When The Last Grave Has Emptied. I love everything on here, except the fact that there is no bass guitar! If it were stolen, I'd order it again. There's no sense in saying I'll kill someone for stealing a cd, even if it is as awesome as this one. Later. I give it a four point five for lack of bass guitar.