The Black Dahlia Murder have successfully taken what they started with their fantastic debut “Unhallowed” and evolved it into a modern extreme music masterpiece with “Miasma”.
There are a couple important things to consider in regards to “Miasma”. First of all, its faster, heavier, more brutal and more complex than “Unhallowed”. Where as before, TBDM have always sort of straddled the line between hardcore influence with some touches of Carcass and At The Gates worship (that is not a putdown). With this record, they have taken a step to the side and leaned more into the death metal and grindcore side of things. At points during their completely battering and relentless assault upon your senses they seem to be channeling vintage Cannibal Corpse and Cryptopsy. Besides the evolved songwriting, a large part of this is new drummer Zach Gibson, who more than fills the shoes of original drummer Cory Grady.
With increased complexity, will come detractors. As music becomes more complex, it takes more patience to fully understand and absorb. I think some may initially be somewhat let down, as is inevitably the case when a band releases a sophomore album after an amazing debut. I think however, for those who enjoy bands pushing extremes, “Miasma” is a very rewarding… and exhausting… experience. Some will even feel “Miasma” surpasses “Unhallowed”.
Like Unhallowed, the record starts off with a great intro track that feeds into the real opener “I’m Charming”, and from that explosion on, its clear that TBDM have upped the ante of brutality. The next few excellent tracks, “Flies”, “Statutory Ape, and the albums first single “A Vulgar Picture” continue to decimate your senses with breakdowns, blast beats, solos and mind bending melodies swirling through the chaos.
I’m happy to say that Trevor Strnad’s madman high screams and death growl trade offs are back in full force, which only tickles my nostalgia senses and reminds me of the glory years of Steer and Walker and Carcass. As a long time fan of extreme music, The Black Dahlia Murder, with their 2 fantastic releases, have moved into the realm of the greats of extreme music for me. They have a place among Carcass, Death, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Cryptopsy, Suffocation.
The Black Dahlia murder now move into my favorite release of 2005 category (at least until new Opeth)
And finally, as with all metal, PLAY IT LOUD!!!!