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So here we are with The Black Dahlia Murder's fourth and, in my opinion, best album. This is where it all comes together. The songwriting is better, the songs are catchier and more memorable, the technicality is upped a notch, and to put it simply the band seem to have finally found a style that suits them best.
The album kicks off straight away with the pummeling riff to Black Valor, with Shannon Lucas keeping at his incredibly fast blasts. The riffs tend to be fast tremelo picked pieces, or slower palm muted ones like at the start of Necropolis. The Gothenburg influences have been turned down a bit on this album compared to Nocturnal, perhaps because the band are trying to develop their sound into something a bit more original, while still keeping the elements of familiar bands. New guitarist Ryan Knight of Arsis fame proves to be a good acquisition, with the solos on this album being some of the best i've heard from TBDM thus far. They are very epic and well played, without being the highlight of the music.
Shannon Lucas's drumwork proves as good as it always was, playing some insane blast beats. The different rhythms the man throws in fit the rest of the music perfectly. Ryan "Bart" Williams's bass work also provides an extra bit of heavy atmosphere to the rhythm section and indeed the album overall. Trevor Strnad is still proving why he's one of the best vocalists in extreme metal today, with his signature shrieks and low growls sounding as good here as they ever did.
Also, they now have something their career has been gagging for. An epic song, which is closer I Will Return. Starting with an atmospheric slow intro and going into a damn good tremolo riff, before closing with an excellent solo (played by the producer Jason Suecof). It's so different to anything else TBDM has done before and they did it so well!
This is the peak of TBDM's career. This is the album where everything has come together perfectly. The band have finally found the line up that they work best with, thanks to Shannon Lucas and Ryan Knight, and the end result is superb. Definitely get this album as soon as possible.
Highlights: Death Panorama, Denounced, Disgraced, Necropolis, A Selection Unnatural, Eyes of Thousand, I Will Return