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Extremely Horrific! Very Awful in a Bad Way! - 30%

felix headbanger, August 24th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2003, CD, Metal Blade Records (Enhanced)

The moment I first heard The Black Dahlia Murder's debut album "Unhallowed" playing, the first words that had come out of my mouth were 'What a horrible way to start my day!'. See, it was back my college days and I was on my way to school when I bumped into a neighbor of mine. That certain fella told me to listen to this band and their debut record. He was praising the band a lot, and was really very insistent that I drop by his house for a couple of minutes to listen to this album. As a good next-door neighbor, I approved of his invitation and gave the album a spin. What came next was 36 minutes and 30 seconds of unpleasant listening due to the album's very carbon copy style of Sweden's At The Gates.

Now I am not saying that getting very heavily influenced by one band is a bad thing. There are bands out there who have a propensity of replicating the same style as their favorite act, but they always put something original to it and incorporate it with their own style. The Black Dahlia Murder had failed to to do that with this debut release. Every track in this album is an exact replica of the songs that you'll hear in At The Gates' "Slaughter of the Soul" album. The only thing that's different between the two albums are the vocal works. Besides that, everything is just too indistinguishable.

The whole record has like less than four melodic riffs, boring riffs, repeated over and over again. Plus the drumming is very sloppy and excessively casual for it to pass as a decent extreme metal record. One more thing that I hate about this record, and all records that tend to play the same style, is that it is loaded with breakdowns that aren't even memorable. Breakdowns are good, if you use them scarcely and if you employ them in the right sections, but abuse it and use it consistently and you'll end up producing an unforgivably cringe worthy album.

I really do not need to expand this review any longer, because there really is nothing left more to say about it. Unhallowed is a generic melodic death metal record that I do not suggest fans of the mentioned genre to purchase. Well, it's really up to you if you want to get a copy of this awful album, but as for me I'll just leave it to the trendy kids who wears black shirt with funny cartoon drawings which millennials labeled as 'Brootal'. Whew---kids these days!

Entrance to the ranks - 95%

PostDemoniun, January 8th, 2014

What does it take to start out well? Skill? Composition? Bad-assery? Probably. That's what I felt as I descended into this album playing it for the first time. I was gripped by the intro track and felt power, grace, and harmony. Now of course, the first track doesn't make up the whole album but that's not even where it stops. I kept getting hit with tasty melodies, sweet solos, and hot riffs. So "Unhallowed" definitely qualifies as a treat for the ears. The only thing I might have a slight issue with is with the coarse vocals, but this is a fairly new band at the time, so I'll cut them some slack. The melodies in the album is what makes it a personal favorite for me. I can tell you this is a band that has an idea of what they're doing as far as melodic death goes, to go even as far as to say that they're a prime example of newer, more modern melodic death metal bands to come around with this album.


What makes this such a good melodic album is honestly the first three tracks show that the most. "Elder Misanthropy" (#3) is very enjoyable for me any day, with it's great melody, making it my favorite track on the album. For a first full length, they did quite well, and would recommend this album. I have high hopes for them in the future as well, I can see them making it big in the metal scene. It was very much worth the money and listen. I guess the only thing that might turn people away is the shrieks by the vocalist, so I guess if that's not your style, avoid this album. They did definitely hit the right spot with the instruments and melody,


Highlight tracks:
"Unhallowed"
"Funeral Thirst"
"Elder Misanthropy"
"Contagion"
"Hymn for the Wretched"
9.5/10

Not perfect, but a stellar debut nonetheless! - 80%

BillNightspawnDorfer, July 7th, 2013

Very few bands, if any at all, get it right on the mark with their first album. When I say that, I mean how capable they are of attaining and projecting their goal as a band - the sound and message - into one complete album. While there's no such thing as the perfect album, debut, or otherwise, The Black Dahlia Murder's "Unhallowed" is a spectacular start for a metal band nowadays and already demonstrates a great portrayal of their aim as a band.

Combining the atmospheric brutality of blackened death with the technical harmonies of melodic death, the band demonstrates a powerful sound right from the start. Songs such as "Funeral Thirst", "Elder Misanthropy", and "Apex" all showcase the band being able to combine solid songwriting with genuinely good musical ideas executed in a genuinely good manner.

While the album's material isn't overall stick-in-your-head as tracks off later releases such as "Nocturnal", this album proves that The Black Dahlia Murder has charged out the front gate with all guns blazing and a reminder of why they're at the forefront of the American metal scene nowadays. A great debut album and a great album in general. Highly recommended! Cheers!!!

Formulaic, archaic, repetitive, but kinda fun. - 68%

tshred666, June 27th, 2012

It seems that this album has caused a complete a schism between the reviewers on this site. In one corner we have those that complain about how this is entirely derivative of Slaughter of the Soul, and in the other corner we have the rabid (and somewhat knuckle-dragging) fanboys of Michigan's answer to Sweden circa '95-'99.

To be perfectly honest, the first time I listened to this album, I didn't care for it. The proto-deathcore tinges and sloppy performance made for what seemed to be a half-assed attempt at re-capturing the beauty of the Gothenburg sound. It took several spins of Nocturnal and Deflorate for me to genuinely enjoy this outfit, and upon revisiting this album, I was pleasantly surprised that I could finally enjoy what all of my friends went crazy for.

That being said, there are some serious flaws. For one, the drumming is WAY too much and way too sloppy. If they were to re-record this album with Lucas behind the kit, I feel some tracks would get the boost they need. For example, the semi-blackened "Hymn for the Wretched" wouldn't have that obnoxious and sloppy intro and main theme. Also, where is the bass? I hate to listen to something with dazzling (and occasionally catchy) guitar work only to be let down and have the bass nowhere in sight. And anyone else notice how "Elder Misanthropy" and "Closed Casket Requiem" are based around the damn near the same riff? What's up with that? I know one track is twice is as long as the other and has a different vocal pattern and overall progression, but I can't be the only one that desires tracks that have identity.

Errors and flaws aside, I have to say this has its positive moments. "Apex", "Funeral Thirst", "Elder Misanthropy", and "Closed Casket Requiem" all have really melodic and catchy hooks that make me pine for a time machine so I can go back to the mid 90's and enjoy the once vibrant Gothenburg scene. This is definitely for people who want something that borders on deathcore, but doesn't drop off from melodic death metal into complete metalcore douche-baggery. I give this a solid C.

A solid start - 75%

DomDomMCMG, March 17th, 2012

Everyone knows The Black Dahlia Murder. You don't listen to extreme metal if you haven't heard of The Black Dahlia Murder. One of the few bands that you'll find both deathcore loving scene kids and veteran death metallers universally enjoying. Yes a few of the elitists consider them deathcore for no reason other than their haircuts and fanbase (they haven't used a breakdown once in their career), but said elitists usually don't have valid opinions. So, yeah, The Black Dahlia Murder. One of extreme metal's biggest names right now. Are they worth the hype? You bet!

It all started on this somewhat primitive piece of Slaughter of the Soul-esque melodeath. Yes, this reeks of At The Gates worship. No, they don't have anything common with every Gothenburgcore band labels like Roadrunner churn out. This album is packed with catchy melodic riffs and harmonies. Songs like Funeral Thirst and Elder Misanthropy are packed with thrashy leads and melodic interludes. While there aren't as many of those excellent solos found on later works, there are still some there. The drumwork is mostly blasts and double bass, but it sounds amazing. There is a bit of bass, but not much. Finally, Trevor Strnad. This guy switches between hoarse throaty death growls and harsh raspy screams at the drop of a penny. In a genre where every vocalist is trying to sound like Tomas Lindberg, Strnad is a breath of fresh air.

The production is a bit primitive, but then so was everything about TBDM at this point. This is basically a solid start to one of the best bands of the 2000s. Not their best release by any means, but it's a solid piece of melodeath that is a very worthwhile listen.

Highlights: Funeral Thirst, Elder Misanthropy, Contagion

Death metal is moving in a... new direction! - 92%

Omicron91, April 10th, 2007

Unhallowed opens with an eerie sample of Trevor Strnad, the groups ONLY vocalist, reading from a book about cannibalism, and this will set the tone for the whole album. While most Death Metal, such as Cannibal Corpse (not to knock Cannibal Corpse, they're one of my favourite bands) would fill an album with songs that sound like the titles were taken from a coroner's report (Broken bone body slam, morbid erection, ...???), The Black Dahlia Murder takes a more suspenseful path in their songs.


When you see a song is titled "Rotten Body Landslide", you can guess fairly easily what it's going to be about. But TBDM goes the other way, with song titles like 'Hymn For The Wretched' and 'Funeral Thirst' they use a classic literary trick, baiting. By baiting I mean that the song drops enough of a hint to it's meaning to maintain interest, but not enough to give it away. For example, 'Thy Horror Cosmic' is, I'm sure, a song about H.P. Lovecraft's 'Cthulhu Mythos' but I can never really be sure, because the lyrics are well written enough to be intriguing, whereas, with many bands, you probably won't understand them, so they write some pretty meaningless things.


Mix their dynamic lyrics with some of the most skillful guitar work in recent times, a vocalist who can switch from death metal growls to frenzied screams (I didn't believe it myself until I saw them live), amazing use of Blast Beats, and, for once, well done break downs, and you have yourself one hell of an album to listen to, never mind moshing to it.


All in all, Unhallowed is one of the more progressive Death Metal albums for a long while, Melodic Death leaning more heavily towards the Death end of the spectrum. It remains to be one of the only albums I've bought and not gotten bored of, including their second album, Miasma. I highly recommend at least giving a listen, as it is well worth it if you do like it.


Just some side notes...


While reading through the reviews posted on Encyclopaedia Metallum about The Black Dahlia Murder, something struck me about them. Pointing out that they have short hair (GASP!) Does not mean a band is not metal. For example, Attila Csihar of Mayhem clearly has short hair, but, I'd like to see someone claim that Mayhem isn't metal.


As for the claims that they sound *exactly* like At The Gates, or not like At The Gates whatsoever, well, I suppose that's personal taste, but the same could be said of many In Flames and Dark Tranquility tracks as well.


And finally, they only have one vocalist, and he has a pretty amazing vocal range.

This is a really good metalcore album... NOT! - 81%

lonerider, April 10th, 2007

So why in blazes do I give this a fairly high rating anyway? Because The Black Dahlia Murder’s (whom I will subsequently refer to as TBDM) debut album Unhallowed is indeed not a good metalcore album, just a good METAL album. Seriously, I don’t understand why so many people classify TBDM as a metalcore band. To me, their music is a kind of blackened death/thrash with some melodic guitar leads thrown in, which nowadays, since these are frequently used by metalcore bands, almost seem to have a kind of stigma attached to them. OK, here’s the “news”: metalcore isn’t the first metal subgenre that combined death metal vocals with melodic guitar harmonies – that sound was invented in the late eighties in Gothenburg, Sweden by forerunners such as In Flames, At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity, and was later heavily borrowed from by bands, predominantly of North American origin, who infused their half hardcore/half metal sound with death grunts and guitar harmonies similar to those employed earlier by the Swedish scene. I don’t mean to bore anybody with a half-assed lecture on the history of metal; everybody with at least a parting interest in the genre is well aware of all this. I simply would like to emphasize that only because TBDM incorporate said elements in their music doesn’t automatically make them a metalcore band.


Another reason why TBDM are often mistaken for a metalcore outfit might be that they don’t look like your average death metallers. Last time I checked, however, “metalness” wasn’t determined by the length of your hair, but by your attitude. Consequently, you may rest assured that these guys, though they look more like a bunch of college boys than, say, Cannibal Corpse (watch the video for Funeral Thirst and you’ll know what I mean), play real metal – brutal as f***, fast as hell, technically proficient, blackened death/thrash, not some watered-down pseudo metal with hardcore breakdowns and whiny clean vocals.


On Unhallowed, TBDM use a barrage of bone-crunching death/thrash riffs, lots and lots of blast beats, and some very nicely done death grunts alternating with hoarse raspy vocals that are more of the black metal variety. Except for a brief intro and outro, both consisting mainly of creepy spoken word passages, the thrashing never lets up, and thanks to some neatly built-in melodic passages, the album has enough variation to never become overly predictable or even boring. In addition to this, I was somewhat surprised to find that TBDM are very competent musicians, especially considering that this was their debut and they were still pretty young at the time it was released. Despite the fact that the songs are mostly played at breakneck speed – I’ve already mentioned the abundance of blast beats –, the music never seems sloppy or even chaotic: the riffs never become blurred but are well-defined throughout, and the drummer never seems to miss a beat. Unfortunately, I can’t say much about the bass since it’s rarely clearly audible.


I won’t go into discussing any particular songs because quality-wise, they’re all more or less on the same level, meaning there are no real standout songs (well, maybe the opener Funeral Thirst if I absolutely had to pick one), but also that the album never drifts off into mediocrity or worse. The only thing that drags this album down a bit, at least for me, is the fact that some of the songs seem a little rushed. I really feel that had the songs been given a little more room to breathe, for instance by adding some instrumental parts and a couple more guitar solos here and there, the album would make an even stronger impression on the listener. As it is, with the majority of the songs being relatively short (most clock in at under four minutes) while at the same time being packed chock-full of lyrics, I occasionally find myself wishing that the singer would just shut up for a minute and let the instruments do the talking. There’s nothing wrong with the vocals or the lyrics – they explicitly cover such metal staples as murder, cannibalism, Zombies, Lovecraft and so on –, it’s just that they’re a little overdone in view of the short duration of the songs, sometimes detracting from the atmosphere of the music.


Such relatively minor complaints aside, Unhallowed is really a highly recommendable brutal death/thrash album by a promising, up and coming young metal band from the States (not that there are too many of those nowadays). If you’re into the more extreme side of metal, you won’t regret checking this out.

This Is What Real Deathcore Is... - 90%

MorturomDemonto, February 22nd, 2007

The Black Dahlia Murder have a long history of being bashed on this website, which I find quite unfair. Unlike most Melodic DM or Deathcore bands, BDM are not as annoying with their shitty metalcore breakdowns, like such bands as Waking The Cadaver and Suicide Silence.

I just don't see how BDM can be put down so much. Their form of Melodic DM or Deathcore (I don't know how to classify them) is actually quite entertaining and it never gets old in my opinion. Most of you may think "Wow, this guy is a total dickhead with bland tastes in extreme metal", however this is not the case. One listen after BDM's "Funeral Thirst", I was hooked. So I went out and bought this CD, and it is very good. Never gets old. Never.

All their songs have some elements of heaviness, yet with an extremely balanced touch of melody, not to make their music sound typically boring like most Death Metal bands do.

The guitar work in this album is technical, however not beyond absurd technicality (which mostly ruins a lot of DM or BDM - Brutal Death Metal), and the drumming is appropriate. Cory Grady uses blastbeats, which are extremely rare piece missing in most Melodic DM bands' music, and his double-bass drum work is constant, never missing a beat. However this album lacks solos, and you cannot hear the bass at all, which is extremely common in extreme music. The vocals are great. All is appropriate at the right time. The Death Growls and the High-Pitched Screams add variety to the music instead of the monotonous typically "ARGHHH" or "OUGHHH".

I must conclude, if you really are in the mood for something heavy, yet at times melodic, and catchy however not extremely commercial (however they have garnered a lot of exposure since "Miasma", their second full length), well then this is the album for you.

Firstly, try getting a shorter band name... - 44%

Funeral_Shadow, December 3rd, 2004

...Well, that's one of the bad things about this band and the release, but that's my opinion at least.

Beside that, this album has received so much hype, therefore leaving me to go out and buy it for a mere $9. Of course, I should've known better not to rely on such shows like the Headbangers Ball and the Music Choice "Metal" channel for new sources of talent in the metal world. This album is half the hype it's receives, where it's not all that great or inspiring. Note to self, don't rely of the media for the next "big thing" in metal...!

I don't see how this group is being compared to At The Gates, because they sound nothing like them at all! Don't listen to people saying that; they're miles away from sounding like ATG, but they're a bland mix of Cannibal Corpse vocals, with Unearth/Killswitch Engage riff styles (more around metalcore I should say), and Decapitated drumming. In short, they in my mind are a mix of death metal influences with hints of hardcore/metalcore in them.

The vocals are what first caught my attention to their music, where I felt it was amazing how one guy did vocals in low and high pitch ranges as presented in the album. Though, after a while, it's kind of boring to hear the vocals alter back and forth. Besides, the high pitch vocals can become annoying after a while where it sounds like he's a US version of Maniac of Mayhem fame (which isn't a great thing.) The drumming, being I compared them to a Decapitated style of playing, are pretty superb. The guy can be a maniac on the drums, with blast beats and double bassing galore. The guitar and bass work is what really brings the album down, with very unoriginal riff work and boring, recycled use of riffage in the music. There's a lot of melody with the guitar work, but they all sound the same after a few listens, leaving you to believe every track you hear is exactly like the other! The growls should be sure to wake you up then from the boredom... at least upon the first few listens of the CD.

Though the album is very redundant, there are some strong songs on the album that deserve "props." "Funeral Thrist" is what got me into the band at first, with it's blast beats and creative layout of riff useage. The vocals dragged me towards the speakers of my boom box and slapped me silly, so did the solo in the middle of the song. This is the best track on the whole album with it's originality in the music and lyrics... ha, "funeral thrist," I love that name! Another track that deserves strong admiration for it's creativity is "Contagion." This is one crazy number, with it's progressive "doomish" beginning and black metal sounding screeches. There's so much groove in this song, mixed in with the low grunts that'll be sured to get you banging that head on your neck. Total death! That's all I have to say about this song.

Of course, those are the singles off of the album that I mentioned above, but there's a reason why they are called singles. Apparently, nothing else on the CD is that appealing to the ear upon further listening. The rest begins to sound all the same and boooooring! The band would've been better releasing the CD with the intro "Unhallowed," and the two tracks above. They sure would receive better feedback I'm sure if they just made this some EP. Needless to say, this is the end product, and you can't change back time. Plus, on most of the songs, TBDM seem like they're trying too hard to sound all "necro and grim" with their horror lyrics and death metal sound. Such songs like "Thy Cosmic Horror" demostrate this point, especially with the intro in the song. If you're new to the vast world of death metal, then this might be a good starter for you to listen to. It isn't the best, nor does it necessaritly suck, but it's plain mediocre and uninspiring. It can have it's momments at times...

Now then... can you guys try getting another new name on your next album release please? Long names are annoying just like the hype behind this album.

Ear Catchers: Funeral Thirst, Contagion...

Pushing unoriginality to new extremes. - 40%

peepsbucket, October 27th, 2004

The back story: At The Gates decided to re-form. To avoid unnecessary publicity and high expectations from their fan base, they moved to Detroit and disguised themselves as hardcore kids.

The album starts off with a downright retarded 2 minute intro that consists of random operating room sounds and distorted vocals reading random shit out of a medical textbook. Only albums that kick my ass are allowed to have lame intros, this way the rest of the album seems even better in contrast. Unfortunately, this intro sets the mood for the mediocre nature of the rest of the album.

Unhallowed is a carbon copy of Slaughter of the Soul with the exception of the vocals and the shitty intro. The vocals are alternating later era At the Gates screams with guttural death growls. This adds a little more variety, making it better than At The Gates in the vocal department, but not quite making up for the repetition and unoriginality.

Heard one song off of Slaughter of the Soul? Then you've heard 'em all, and you'll hear more of it on this album. All the songs here consist of one to three fast melodic riffs repeated until you fall asleep, then a neat breakdown wakes you up and you fall back asleep again after the mindless melo-riffing starts again. Yeah, the breakdowns are pretty cool, the occasional solo catches my ear, and the drumming is competent; so this album isn't complete and utter crap. It's just really, really, REALLY generic.

Album high points: Elder Misanthropy: It has a catchy riff and a really cool breakdown.

Album low points: The entire second half of the album: Everything just meshes together into complete and utter mediocrity, you won't be able to tell when one song ends and the next one begins because it all sounds exactly the same.

Arsis eats these guys for breakfast then shits them out and uses them for fertilizer. Go get A Celebration Of Guilt and hear for yourself what good American melo-death can sound like.

Trendwhores and Primadonnas - 10%

NightOfTheRealm, May 22nd, 2004

Oh great. The Haunted have a new album.
Oh great. The Haunted moved to Detroit, too.

Well, it’s not quite as bad as The Haunted manage, but The Black Dahlia Murder carries on the same visions of The New Wave Of Swedish ‘Tard-Core as The Haunted/At The Gates/The Forsaken etc.etc. etc.

Known locally more for their shit-talking about other local bands, and abyssmal live performances (ask anyone who saw ‘em at St. Andrews with Blind Guardian), The Black Dahlia Murder is typical Swedish post-Gothenburg death metal (I’d swear that they bought a couple used hooks from an At the Gates yard sale). Obviously, the concept of songwriting is unknown to the band because the band is incapable of writing a simple 3-minute song without resorting to a fill of blastbeats or recycled leads, or the ever-popular “let’s slow things down with a core-ish breakdown so we can get the most out of our one riff.” The only thing saving this band is their root in legitimate death metal.

We actually do get some catchy melodic lead work about halfway through “Elder Misanthropy,” and a couple decent riffs, making this one probably the only tolerable 2 and a half minutes on the disc. “Contagion” has some good ideas as well; “Thy Horror Cosmic” actually makes it through the song without running terribly afoul, and the middle passage of “The Blackest Incarnation” starting around the 2-minute mark pulls off a good Dark Tranquillity style. The closing three tracks are among the four longest on the album and have the least ideas running through them.

In all, The Black Dahlia Murder could possibly trim the album to a halfway acceptable 5-track EP, but with 10 tracks on a 36-minute album, the creativity is stretched thin enough.

By the way, Black Dahlia Murder, I was most impressed by the way you handle criticism of your band. Sending your girlfriends over to confront people at your shows when your band is responsible for the sucking shows great fortitude on your part. The Black Dahlia Murder – UNHALLOWED is the perfect example that just because a band is local and underground does not mean they are worthy of attention or support. Fuck trendwhoring bands. Fuck these primadonna cunts.

(originally written by me for www.metal-rules.com, August, 2003)

I'm so tired of this bullshit. - 40%

Xeper, March 15th, 2004

What do The Black Dahlia Murder have in common with In Thy Dreams, Beyond The Flesh, Hatesphere, and so on? EVERYTHING!
HELLO!! Have any of this band's fans ever even HEARD At The Gates' Slaughter Of The Soul? There is not a single riff on this album which is not painfully derivative of ATG, much like In Thy Dreams (one of the more prominent examples of bands who add nothing to the scene they inhabit). I don't care how good TBDM's drummer is (and he is quite good, I saw them live opening for Hate Eternal & Arch Enemy, an experience which I won't get into here), that doesn't make up for how hopelessly generic their music is. I'm seriously convinced that the only reason Metal Blade signed these guys is because they all look like a bunch of hardcore kids, and Metal Blade probably figured "Gee, metalheads might be sick of this tired gothenburg nonsense, but the hardcore crowd barely knows it exists! So instead of introducing them to the bands who pioneered it, let's cash in on the genre's popularity with some clones who'll visually appeal to other scenes!" I almost feel bad slagging musicians who are trying to make names for themselves, but then I remember that it's one thing to carve a musical niche for yourself, and another thing entirely to ride the coattails of another band's vision. Avoid this gothenburg worship like the plague. Unless you eat this shit right up and don't care if it all sounds the same, it's not worth your money.

nothing special - 65%

mutiilator, March 8th, 2004

Before i get started: This isn't a "new death metal band". They have been around for at least 2 years prior to the release of this full-length, and their sound has gone downhill since the release of their first demo.


I wasn't really awaiting the release of this album because after the band's second demo, A Cold-Blooded Epitaph, i knew something was bound to go wrong - and that it did. On Unhallowed we see the band taking on relatively generic sound, and now the death metal influence has completely overtaken any metalcore influence once present. This isn't necessarily a band thing, but i found that after the first track or two, the rest of the songs just went in one ear and out the other. Simply said: IT WAS BORING. The riffs all sound the same, and the vocals never change. With the smaller doses of the demos, one didn't really realize how alike the songs sounded, but now that there's 9 tracks of the same shit over and over, i find myself turned off of TBDM. Sure the music is hard, fast, and aggressive, but that's nothing new. Bands like Autumn Leaves and At the Gates did that years ago.

So skip this release. Check out bands like Undying, Red Sky, or Prayer for Cleansing first. Bands who have substance and variation.

Impressive new death metal band - 90%

Rasputen, November 21st, 2003

I picked this album up for six bucks... and believe me, I was far from disappointed.

The intro to the album is chilling, and does an excellent job of setting the overall tone of the rather macabre themes. Suddenly, the album tears into "Funeral Thirst," a track that tears at your throat with some brutal riffs and a touch of melody. Really, this is how every song carries on. There is no shortage of chunky riffing, harmonies, and well executed solos here. Textbook brutality executed by capable musicians.

The guitarwork throughout is quite impressive, and my favorite aspect of the album. The drumming is pretty textbook, and doesn't really deviate from the norm- nonetheless, the drummer is good at what he does. The vocals, which alternate between a hardcorish scream (a la In Flames and At the Gates) and a death growl are a nice touch to the music. The production is also flawless.

The Black Dahlia murder aren't out to break any boundaries per se; however, they are out to kick some ass. I can't help but think of mid-period death when I listen to the shredding and structures of this album. If you are a fan of classically executed death metal, chilling to the bone, I would highly recommend you obtain this album.

USA melodic death!!! - 90%

KRISIUN69filth, September 21st, 2003

Fast riffs, great melody, perfectly executed screechy vocals, and great lyrics. Those are the four things that come to my mind when somebody asks me if The Black Dahlia Murder is a good band.

There debut CD, "Unhallowed" starts off with a goofy little clip before it hits into a terrific guitar riff that's 100 times better than anything In Flames has put out in the last 5 years. Blasting into the song "Funeral Thirst" with average drumming, but tremendous dual guitar attack by John Kempainen and Brian Eschbach, and screechy black metal vocals, intertwined with guttural death vocals done by Trevor Strnad.

Lyrically TBDM, has a dark, creepy edge, most songs include zombies, "When the last grave has emptied" and the song "Closed Casket Requiem" is about killing your girlfriend.

The black dahlia murder uses guitars as there back bone of song structures with many terrific guitar riffs & leads check out "Funeral Thirst". The best song on this album is "Closed Casket Requiem," Girlfriend killing lyrics, average drumming, Black/Death vocals, and a tremendous melodic death guitar riff at 0:25, that sounds like something In Flames or Soilwork wishes they could still do.

All in all, Tremendous Melodic Death album, great melody and killer vocals, terrific lyrics, and the only problem is the average drumming. Highlights of the album:

Track 2: Funeral Thirst
Track 9: Closed Casket Requiem
Track 5: When the last grave has emptied