…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.