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The Black Dahlia Murder-Everblack - 96%

metalhead622, June 13th, 2015

The Black Dahlia Murder are a band who are very consistent while also being very diversified at the same time. They release an album every two years, and have since the beginning of their career, and each album has had a new element incorporated within compared to the last. Some changes weren't too drastic (Nocturnal to Deflorate) and some were filled with change (Ritual to Everblack.) Their new album "Abysmal" is coming out this September, and I have eagerly been awaiting the single to drop with the album. I went back and listened to Everblack, and determined that I should review the album.

First of all, I understand why some people may not enjoy this album as much as the others. The style change is honestly something that has not been heard of from The Black Dahlia Murder before. A lot of the killer melodic songs that Black Dahlia are known for are absent on this record, with the rhythmic songs actually lacking a bit, but it works very well. Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn, Control, Blood Mine, and Their Beloved Absentee hold the rhythm and melody down very well, while others like In Hell is Where She Waits for Me, Phantom Limb Masturbation, Every Rope a Noose and Map of Scars focusing on ridiculously heavy riffing. I enjoy the evolution, because it puts an end to monotony, and also helps individualize the release. The addition of two new members to replace drummer Shannon Lucas and bassist Bart Williams is also a bit of an annoyance for some. Despite the loss of damn near all of the rhythm department, save Brian Eschbach, Dahlia has returned stronger than ever, with an album eerier, blacker, and more evil than any of their previous releases, while maintaining amazing the amazing rhythm they are so well-known for.

The production on this album is very nice, with all instruments being heard very clearly throughout the album. The bass can be heard for most of the album, which is a great plus. The drumming sounds excellent, the guitars have a really dark and heavy tone to them which is spectacular, and Trevor's vocals are just as devilishly great as before, with a lot of mix and match between his high shrieks and his lower growls. All in all, it just sounds very vile and evil compared to their previous works. Tie the fact that this album has a very heaping portion of black metal influence, and you can't help but recognize the malicious brutality staring you directly in the face.

The opener is a song every serial killer aficionado has been waiting for; a song about the actual death of Elizabeth Short, commonly referred to as 'The Black Dahlia.' Lyrically it is beautiful and evil at the same time, showcasing the brilliant lyrics lurking within the darkest confides of Trevor's mind. It portrays Elizabeth's killer attending her funeral, unbeknownst to all the others there due to his anonymous attendance. It starts with raining in the beginning, followed by the reciting of a bible verse with the building of instruments in the background, right up until the breaking point, where Trevor belts out a high shriek that starts this album on a strong foot first. It only gets better from here, with great rhythm as well as awesome riffing, great drums, and lyrical patterns that will be stuck in your head for awhile after listening to it.

Lyrically, this album is my favorite from Black Dahlia because of the darkness within. There are two songs about killers, the aforementioned one, and Control, which is about Jeffrey Dahmer. The lyrics also range from complete nihilistic viewpoints, a god who enjoys watching humanity suffer, a cavern of vampires feasting on the blood of children, and many more. My personal favorite song on this album is the last song, Map of Scars. It opens with a riff influenced heavily by black metal, and it has haunting choir vocals in the background to add to the ambiance of death. I won't spoil the lyrics, because they are too good to pass up, telling a story as dark as a black hole in a style similar to Edgar Allan Poe.

One other aspect that makes this album in particular different than the other ones is the fact that there is a bonus track to it, which no other Black Dahlia Murder album prior has had. The bonus track is only available in Japanese versions, and is honestly quite fitting that way. The song is entitled Seppuku, which for those of you who don't know, is a form of suicide performed by Japanese samurai. It is an honor to perform Seppuku, which is essentially self-disembowelment. I enjoy Seppuku very much, and recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed this album, for it has great guitar work by both Brian Eschbac and Ryan Knight, with more vocal patterns that will stick with you for awhile.

There are a few tiny issues I have with this album; the first being the sub-par lyrics on Into the Everblack. i don't have a problem with lyrics that aren't deep, or well thought out, but in Trevor's case, I surely am. He has some of the most pristine lyrics ever written, and this song sounds like a completely different person wrote the chorus. Another flaw is that the vocals on Map of Scars just sound a little off. They are performed miraculously, make no mistake, but they are significantly lower in the mix compared to the other songs. It is more of a decorative flaw than a structured one, and what I mean by that is that it is a little detail that will affect the experience a little bit. Despite the shortcoming and distance in the vocals of this song, it is one of my favorites off of this album. These flaws are very minute, and shouldn't be dwelled upon by any means.

This album is one I would recommend for near anyone. New and old Black Dahlia Murder fans, melodic death metal fans, straight up death metal fans. black'n'roll fans, as well as anyone who enjoys awesome metal. The Black Dahlia's 6th album is most definitely a must have for anyone who likes this band, and in my opinion, by most everybody. Standout tracks are In Hell is Where She Waits for Me, Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn, Phantom Limb Masturbation, Control, Every Rope a Noose, and Map of Scars.