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Ageless classic. - 100%

Palecompanion2001, April 5th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Metal Blade Records

As the ten year anniversary comes up for this album, I decided to give it another listen. Upon hearing this album, I suddenly was reminded why The Black Dahlia Murder is my favorite band. Being myself I tend to find a favorite band and steer away from them for a while and then suddenly come back to the band for nostalgia reasons. This album is a huge part of my life and now I remember why, it is honestly an example of some of the best songwriting in death metal history. This album ages greatly and I still think it is as great as it was ten years ago when it first got released. While this band has never (in my opinion) released a bad album, this record really stands out in the eyes of most. For a damn good reason as well.

This album is one of the best if not the best U.S. melodic death metal releases of all time. It is flawless, everything I hear when I listen to this album is perfection. The overall structure of the songs on this record is really impressive. It doesn't seem like anything is out of place or is just awkwardly placed. It all fits together perfectly. I find this album to be a lot more mature than their past two releases, which are great none the less. I just think all members of the band really grew and learned a lot in the short time when writing this album. The sense of how much all of the members really grew since they started really makes this album much more enjoyable.

The album itself has a handful of hit songs, but as a whole I don't see this album having a single filler or a forgettable song. It really seemed like this band was trying to write an album that was going to be full of hit songs. They really gave it their A-game when writing this album. How everything really flows so well together is extremely satisfying. It is in no way predictable, there are a lot of surprising little breaks and riff changes throughout the songs. The drums never get boring or repetitive, there is always something going on differently on the drums while this album plays through. I don't find anything about this album to be repetitive, it always has your attention 24/7. I don't look at this album like it is something someone can put on as background music. It is honestly too attention grabbing to be just background music.

While listening to this album you notice the immense number of guitar solos and for a good reason. They are all placed and played so well. The way it just is laid out on the tracks feels very natural and right. The guitar solos are a huge part of this album I think, they are all extremely attention grabbing and can leave you very impressed while listening to them. Overall this band has so much talent when playing their instruments it is extremely impressive.

I really find the drums to be a very prominent feature on this album. They are never too simple or boring. When listening to death metal I really tend to get tired of the overwhelming blast beats played all the time. This album really puts blast beats where they need to be and can pull it off greatly. The drums never really play the same beat over and over again, they always are moving around and keeping it seem very refreshing and flowing really well. Shannon Lucas was an absolute genius when tracking drums for this album.

The vocals are an important part in this album. Trevor Strnad really flows so great with this instruments I find it to be very beautiful. The high screams have improved greatly since their debut, it seems to be more polished and clean. While 'Unhallowed' has a lot grittier high screams, the ones on 'Nocturnal' stand out to me way more. Not to mention the lyrics, honestly I find the way Trevor writes on this album to be a work of art. His lyrics are so extremely creative and flow so well. I can say he is easily one of the best lyricists in the death metal genre. As well as one of the best vocalists and very influential.

This album is an easy 100%, not only is it flawless but I think it remains to be one of the best death metal albums written. It really shows a lot of maturity when listening and it keeps you're interest throughout the album. This record has influenced so many bands and albums on its own and for a very obvious reasons. It remains a staple in their discography and all of metal. I definitely recommend this album for younger fans trying to get into death metal. It is an amazing gateway for all fans of this genre and extreme metal in general.