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The often imitated yet never duplicated Detroit deathsters The Black Dahlia Murder have returned to the public eye to reclaim their rightful throne as leaders of all things extreme with their third blackened opus of thrashing melodic death metal, Nocturnal. Thematically, the band has never been more horrifying. Vocalist Trevor Strnad explains, ”Lyrically, I believe Nocturnal is our most evil outing yet. It is a full return to the death/gore lyrical style that helped establish us in the first place. It is an ode to the great Death Metal records of past, while also being our most original and inventive outing to date.” The climate of the metal scene has never been more primed for the aural punishment that Nocturnal offers in spades. Prepare to revel in the abysmal horror that is The Black Dahlia Murder.

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  • This band is just simply awesome. The Black Dahlia Murder are without question one of the finest melodic death metal bands out here in the United States today. “Nocturnal” is without question their most brutal, evil, gory, and their best album thus far, and it’s also one of the best death metal albums of 2007 as well. I enjoyed BDM’s previous effort from 2005 “Miasma” alot too, but this album blows that one right out of the water. One of the best things about “Nocturnal” is that also possesses more black metal influences than on “Miamsa”. The lyrics on here are very evil and gory, and the musicianship is absolutely top-notch. Trevor Strnad’s vocals are just excellent on here. He can alternate from beastly, gutteral, inhuman death growls and bellows and evil nightmarish high pitched black metal-esque shrieks that will summon up the devil in you. John Kempainen and Brian Eschbach are both excellent guitarists and they make quite the duo. The riffs are just blistering and bone crunching, and the leads and solos by John (who plays lead guitar BTW) are very technical, ripping, and nicely clean and restrained. Shannon Lucas’s drumming is just manaical, slamming, and pummeling throughout with exploding, splattering, perfectly executed blastbeats and wicked double bass slamming. Every song on this album is just great, I love every single song on here. The first track “Everything Went Black” is a great opening track that will immediately get your blood pumping with it’s fiery, thrashing riffs, blasting drumwork and demonic vocals. The guitar solo around the 1:44 mark is awesome as well. The second track “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse” is another favorite on here that is highlighted by heavy, booming, thundering riffs that will just crush your bones into dust along with more fast pummeling drum blasts. The title track “Nocturnal” is my personal favorite on here that features pounding, splattering drum blasts and wicked double bass slamming, careening leads, a catchy growl/scream chorus, and a great headbanging solo. Other favorites include “I Worship Only What You Bleed”, “Deathmask Divine”, “Of Darkness Spawned” (which is highlighted by more fast, pounding double bass drumwork, beastly growls, wild thrashing riffs, a fast, melodic careening solo, and an awesome mosh pit shout/scream part of “The time to rise is upon us”), “Cimatic Degredation” (higlighted by more fast, shredding riffs, another great ripping solo and more murderous double bass onslaughts) and “To a Breathless Oblivion” (which features two great guitar solos along with more slamming double bass drum onslaughts, and evil demonic growls and shrieks, and there’s even some nice accoustic strings near the end). Please read on for the song ratings.
    Jeremy’s song ratings:
    1. Everything Went Black (3:17) – 5/5
    2. What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse (3:50) – 5/5
    3. Virally Yours (3:02) – 5/5
    4. I Worship Only What You Bleed (1:59) – 5/5
    5. Nocturnal (3:12) – 5/5
    6. Deathmask Divine (3:37) – 5/5
    7. Of Darkness Spawned (3:22) – 5/5
    8. Climatic Degradation (2:39) – 5/5
    9. To a Breathless Oblivion (4:57) – 5/5
    10. Warborn (4:40) – 5/5

    Overall Verdict: This album is an absolute must-have for any Black Dahlia Murder fan, and that also goes to anyone who’s into some great death metal, melodic death metal, extreme metal, and yes even some black metal fans will enjoy this as well. So do yoursef a favor, go out and buy this album ASAP!! ALL HAIL BDM!!

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Nocturnal is similar to “Miasma” With a slightly larger spectrum of music. While not straying far from the style of “Miasma”, such songs as ‘To a Breathless Oblivion’ and ‘Warborn’ showcase musicianship not previously achieved in the previous albums. If you liked the previous album, or are just a fan of melodic death/black metal, Nocturnal is enough to make you grin and then rip off the face it is attached to.

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The Black Dahlia Murder (TBDM) keep upping the ante in the realm of melodically influenced death metal with their most recent release: ‘Nocturnal’. First, I was curious after listening to ‘Unhallowed’, then I was a sure fire fan after ‘Miasma’, and now I am wondering how these guys keep churing out the best american death metal yet! With the addition of drummer Shannon Lucas, they are in synch like never before. Brian Eschbach(sp?)pretty much wrote the whole thing and it is damn near a masterpiece. John Kempanien’s (sp?) lead work is once again OUTSTANDING. Ryan Williams’ bass is on time and flawless… oh yeah and you can actually hear the bass guitar on this record! And Trevor Strnad has returned to his thematic horror narrative, weaving a tapestry of black gore and fear throughout every track. Whereas ‘Miasma’ had some of the same lyrical content as ‘Unhallowed’ save for a few songs about partying (i’m charming, vice campaign, Miasma etc..), ‘Nocturnal’ is a clear journey back to their roots on the ‘Unhallowed’ record. One thing I have noticed on every record from TBDM is that the members of the band aren’t bound to one another musically. Each one of then plays independently from one another. You hear bassist Williams playing something besides the same riffs as the rhythm guitar, but he still stays locked in with drummer Lucas. And in case you haven’t looked in your CD booklet, there is only one lead singer in TBDM. All of the vocals on this record are done by Strnad. Live, Rhythm guitarist Eschbach fills in some. But an amazing talent to switch from the ‘Growl’ of death metal, to more of an ‘At the Gates’ style scream. One last thing: no filler songs on this record, which is great. My picks for fave tracks: ‘Warborn’, ‘What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse’, ‘Deathmask Divine’ um… naw… the whole album is awesome, no need for fave tracks. If you get a chance to see them live, do so. Awesome show. No posturing, just five guys ripping the stage and having fun.

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Black Dahlia Murder is a near unstoppable force plain and simple. this album shows the strong progression they’ve made from their early days. Combining the best Unhallowed and Miasma had to conjure up this little bit. The whole album clocks in around 34 mins, though it feels considerably longer, in a very good way. The whole band brings top notch work to play, drums enhance the atmosphere, the guitar work is damn fine, bass deserves a tip of that hat, and Trevor brings his best as well. More aggressive than the previous releases, but also very powerful in mood. Bought it the first day it released and I’m glad i did.

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This release is just what you’d expect from one of America’s best Death Metal bands, with lightning fast guitars, dual-vocals, and killer riffs. I was a little unsure about the packaging concept with album, though. With bands out there like Behemoth and Gorgoroth, who take themselves and their “evilness” so seriously that they can be downright comical at times, I was somewhat surprised by Nocturnal’s Black Metal look. While it looks pretty cool, I’m somewhat suspicious of its sincerity.

    While a little predictable in my opinion, this album far from disappoints. Darkness Spawned simply crushes, while seemingly speeding by without giving you a chance to breath. The surprise track is To Breathless Oblivion, with its epic scope and sweeping guitar lines. Black Dahlia has a bad habit of holding all their cords for the same amount of time on every song, while the cords on this song are held longer giving it a more epic feel. It also has the best lead on the album. For these reasons, this track stands head and shoulders above the rest of the album. I think Nocturnal would have flowed a little better had this track been the closer instead of Warborn, which is somewhat overshadowed by To Breathless Oblivion, despite its unique 3/4 section towards the end. However, there is much here that needs multiple listens to fully digest – another excellent trait of this band. The production on this album is an improvement over Miasma in the same proportion as Miasma was over Unhallowed, and the tone of Nocturnal is darker than both – a big improvement in my book.

    While the packaging art is certainly a “new” step for Black Dahlia, Nocturnal really doesn’t deviate much from Miasma. Judging from the fact that there seems to be a new Black Dahlia clone every week, I can’t really blame them for sticking to their guns. But for my money, I’d like to see Black Dahlia take a chance with their forth album. With two excellent releases in their discography, this album is a little safe for my taste.

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now