The Black Dahlia Murder are a 5 piece from Detroit, Michigan and derive their name from the infamous, unsolved murder of Hollywood waitress Elizabeth Short, who was found murdered in a park in Los Angeles in January of 1947. The body had been severed in half, all blood drained from it and then given a ‘Glasgow Kiss’
Vocalist Trevor Strnad and guitarist Brian Eschbach, are the only founding members left in the current line up, but they are flanked by Alan Cassidy on the drums, Max Lavelle on the bass and Brandon Ellis, who joins Strnad on growling duties,
The band has unleashed 7 full length offerings onto the metal community to date, and the last 6 have charted on the U.S billboard top 200. Their 5th opus, Ritual, climaxed at no 31.
The Black Dahlia Murder has had their style and sound trapped into many styles, ranging from melodic death metal, to simply pure death metal. The band draws a massive influence from comrades such as Carcass, Morbid Angel and Malevolent Creation. They have a long and illustrious touring history, alongside many big hitters such as kataklysm, Vader, Children of Bodom and necrophobic.
‘Nightbringers’ comes crashing into the world with a solid 33 minutes of pure brutality, all wrapped up in a crushing release, which I am led to believe, broke all records for pre orders in Metal Blade Records history.
The album starts proceedings with an absolute behemoth of a track, ‘Widowmaker’, which lands you straight in the middle of a barrage of beats and rage, which doesn’t seem to relent from the moment it kicks in, to the moment we move to the next track, ‘of god and serpent, of spectre and snake’. The whole release seems to follow along the same tracks until the band seem to have a moment of inspiration, in the form of ‘Matriarch’, and the riffs become a little more technical in their deliverance.
‘Jars’ then bring the listener back round with the clarity of speed and intensity which we all love entering the pit for, and ‘kings of the night world’ becomes a little more groovier than the normal recipe which Black Dahlia have adopted, and branded as their own, pretty much in the same vain a cattle farmer on a ranch deep in the heart of Texas would brand his prize winning bull.
The album is brought to a climax with the most robust and extensive track on the album, ‘The Lonely Deceased’ which delivers a solid 5:06, which grabs the listener firmly in its grip, and pummels them until there is literally no life left.
This is a robust enough release, which mixes all out brutality, with flashes of technical brilliance, and while the purist, elitist death metallers amongst us may scoff at this release, and the brand of music that the Black Dahlia Murder portray, this is a welcome diversion which will have complete floors within gig venues across the planet, bouncing in complete unison.
(8/10 Phil Pountney)