Review by Brady Deeprose
When a death metal band writes something as good as 2011’s Ritual, they’re on top of the world. After touring relentlessly, The Black Dahlia Murder then sat down to write the follow up. ‘Holy shit, how do we follow a masterpiece?’ must have been a phrase thrown around, even Trevor Strnad (Vocals) said that following Ritual was ‘a daunting prospect’ and that is had been ‘the biggest and most well thought out thing’ they had put their names too. With the release of Everblack, they’ve done a bloody good job.
‘In Hell Is Where She Waits For Me’ is the huge intro we all wanted to hear, and for the first time sees the lyrics tackling the theme of the band’s name, the Black Dahlia murder. Fast, bloodthirsty, melodic. It sets the precedent for 45 minutes of the best melodic death metal I’ve heard in a good few years. Lead single ‘Goat Of Departure’ follows the opener in that it’s straight into the action, no-messing death metal.
The ferocity of TBDM is magnificent, a true testament to the dual guitar prowess of Ryan Knight and Brian Eschbach. The bands melodic playing could have peaked with Ritual leaving a follow-up sounding drab in comparison, yet Everblack, as the title would suggest, has come out sounding darker than ever. The soulful (soulless?) guitar solo in ‘Into The Everblack’ just goes to further prove my point: spine-tinglingly eerie yet stunningly cutting.
‘Raped In Hatred By Vines of Thorn’, as some of the horror fans amongst you may have realised, is a tip of the hat to the infamous Evil Dead scene, tackling the unsavoury subject matter in vivid depth. A wordsmith of sorts, Trevor Strnad has a talent for getting stark, filthy imagery flashing before your eyes using an almost poetic syntax, for example, ‘Ritual in secrecy in opened flesh they do confide, beneath their clothing hides a map of scars freakishly carved, between their puckered lips a waiting lie, hollow inside.’
As quite a clearly outspoken fan of 2011’s Ritual, it was always going to be a hard act to follow, but Everblack is as close to that quality as any band could get. It’s a real treat for old and new fans alike and, considering pre-orders actually came with an evidence bag (mine had a shotgun shell and some crime scene pictures), The Black Dahlia Murder are a band that are sure to delight and surprise for years to come.
8.5 out of 10
- In Hell Is Where She Waits For Me
- Goat Of Departure
- Into The Everblack
- Raped In Hatred By Vines Of Thorn
- Phantom Limb Masturbation
- Blood Mine
- Every Rope A Noose
- Their Beloved Absentee
- Map Of Scars