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  • 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