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(84 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • …it still rocks!

    Black Dahlia Murder aren’t exactly innovative, mainly because their vocalist, Trevor Strnad, breaks absolutely no new ground. He has two vocal styles: he yells high shrieks and comes down for cliche, death metal grumbles. Lack of innovation aside, however, “Unhallowed” is a great listen from probably the best death metal band of the new millennium. This album isn’t at all boring. In fact, with Trevor spilling his guts out over brutal and uncompromising music, “Unhallowed” is actually very intense and exciting. The album begins and ends with a creepy, spoken word passage, but as soon as the breakneck tempo change of the first track kicks in, you know you’re in for a wild ride. This disc is 36 and a half minutes of crushing guitars, bullying drums, and booming beats. Tracks three, four, and seven (“Elder Misanthropy,” “Contagion,” and “The Blackest Incarnation”) are the best examples of Brian Eschbach’s and John Kempainen’s scorching riffs, and “The Horror Cosmic” and “Closed Casket Requiem” have pounding power chords and double bass drums. Elsewhere, “Hymn For the Wretched” and “Apex” feature almost rocketing, almost careening guitar work, and track five, “When The Last Grave Has Emptied” has an awesome, lightning fast guitar-drum give-and-take. The bottom line is this isn’t the most original C.D. you’ll ever hear, but you’d be hard pressed to find another album that rocks more profusely.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This review is mainly to say to Mr. Rafael Dsilva: Please learn to spell. Also, this is a good cd to add to the collection.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve owned this cd for around a year now and still can’t seem to put the cd down. It’s always in my stereo and in my car. The guitars are absolutely amazing, harmonizing with each other while still remaining brutal. The drums never let up, double bass flying and blastbeats everywhere (but still manages not to sound repetitive). The vocals vary between high screeches and REALLY deep growls giving it a diverse feel. I assume the bass is good cuz the cd is heavy but to be fair, I don’t know anything about bass . . . :p Overall, the band is ridiculously creative and breathing new life into metal that has gradually become more and more of the same. To sum it all up, this cd is perfect. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this cd. I would recommend this band whether you’re into Lamb of God, Kataklysm, In Flames, or especially At the Gates (this band wouldn’t exist without them). If you’re considering buying this cd, I would skip the hesistation and just get it. I did and I haven’t regretted it since. Enjoy!

    -Cradle In Flames

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This purchase was a total whim on my part. I just came across this while looking through a cd store, noticed it was cheap and vaguely remembered hearing them on the local extreme metal show, and decided to pick it up. As my title states it was a pleasant surprise.The number 1 criticism of The Black Dahlia Murder is that they are too derivative. This, however doesn’t apply to me, as I am unfamiliar with early Swedish melodeath, so I don’t know just how true this accusation is. I doubt I would care, however, considering how exhilarating and exquisitely executed this album is. There are those who always want some new stylistic innovation with every new artist and album, and this probably doesn’t provide that.(Though, as I said before, I don’t really know.) Anyone who is just looking for some solid, intense metal (like I was) will likely find all they need right here.This album is described as melodic death metal (or melodeath) and this description is simultaneously apt and deceptive. This is because much of the newer melodeath I’ve heard is really just an amalgamation of thrash metal and power metal with death vox thrown in the mix. This is, in many ways, a true American death metal album in that it maintains the blast-beats and chaotic nature of the genre combined with more melodious and clean guitarwork. The riffwork on this album is simply exquisite. It’s pretty catchy and has got lots of harmony work, but it’s also extremely fast and intense. The solos are pretty cool too, though there aren’t very many of them. Cory Grady is a solid death metal drummer. His work is pretty standard for the genre, but that doesn’t make it easy or unimpressive. He uses tons of blast-beats and double-bass work, but he still mixes up the beats pretty well. The vox are generally pretty sweet too. The backing growls are fairly vanilla but they work well in contrast to the excellent, black metalish rasping which is the more prevalent vocal style. The bass is non-existent so I will not, and cannot go in to it.The songwriting is excellent. The songs contain many tempo and riff changes while still including many hooks and memorable choruses. Every song found here is excellent. After the intro the real opener, Funeral Thirst kicks off. It contains what makes this album great; tons of speedy memorable riffs with a kick-ass chorus and solo to boot. When the Last Grave Has Emptied is close to my heart due to it’s zombie-apocalypse subject matter, and it also kicks off the 5 song stretch which makes up the best material on the album. Thy Horror Cosmic is bit slower than most of the material on the album, though it is know less memorable and certainly isn’t mellow. The vox are great, particularly when he shrieks, “I scream for your return”. The Blackest Incarnation is great too. The bridge is simply awesome, and the riff set leading up to it is nothing to be scoffed at either. The bridge very intense and atmospheric at once. Closed Casket Requiem is probably my favorite track on the album. It’s got great lyrics. It’s your classic love-murder song which manages to be very creepy. I particularly like the personification of the knives. “The knives begin singing/ They’re weeping for your flesh”.The riffs are perhaps the best on the album, particularly the chorus riff and the one just prior to it. It’s also got some immediately memorable vocal lines.Anyways, this may not be the most innovative thing you’ll hear, but it’s got all the other ingredients of a great metal album. Check it ou

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • First off, I cannot stop listening to this thing. The album is just packed full of frantic, intelligent, and memorable riffs that somehow play off of each other so comfortably that it stuns the mind. Just as you’re trying to comprehend what’s going on, they go into a two-guitar harmony so euphoric that you just have to say, “No way did that just happen.” For example, check out the guitar passage in “When the Last Grave Has Emptied” that starts around the two minute mark. Listen to the grandeur that is the intro of “The Blackest Incarnation.” The harmonic interlude in “Thy Horror Cosmic” is just plain pretty, as is rising tension of the chorus riff (and eventual harmony) in “Closed Casket Requiem.” This type of high quality musicianship was such a pleasure to discover. Not since “Heartwork” by Carcass have I been so deeply affected by a record. Trevor’s use of duelling high and low vocals is another strong reason why this album succeeds. His high pitched delivery reminds me of Dani Filth in a way, and the low growls remind me of Bill Steer. “Unhallowed” proves that older influential metal bands still reside in the hearts of many people today. It’s classic thrash and grindcore principles with a modern presentation (and how about that great band logo?) They just embody everything I look for in music. Those who say that the songs sound alike are NOT paying attention or listening close enough. To The Black Dahlia Murder: thank you for putting this record out, I’ve been waiting for this classic for a long time. 5 out of 5 stars.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now