Artist: The Black Dahlia Murder
Genre: Death metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
As far as extreme metal bands that have broken into the mainstream go, the list is rather short, especially if you’re looking for death metal bands specifically. Considering the band’s label and history, The Black Dahlia Murder have had pretty remarkable success in regards to the more mainstream-leaning fan base. In recent albums they’ve also begun to capture more of the “underground” metal community as well, especially with the addition of Ryan Knight on guitar in 2009. The band looks to continue its climb to complete metal dominance with Everblack.
Picking up right where Ritual left off, Everblack has a brooding intro filled mostly with Knight’s signature guitar work then bursts into a bombastic riff-fest for about 45 minutes, peppering in a slick solo every handful of minutes. If you’re someone who’s been aware of and/or familiar with The Black Dahlia Murder’s last few albums these things should come as no surprise whatsoever. Stopping there, however, would be selling Everblack far short of what it actually is: an exercise in pushing a formulaic approach to its most variable extreme without sacrificing quality or integrity.
Even when almost completely predictable, The Black Dahlia Murder have figured out how to deliver a completely satisfying riff right when a song needs it, and how to shy away from running a listener into the ground with repetition. Perhaps the most criminally underrated facet of the band’s music so far in their 12 year career is their ability to craft an inherently catchy death metal tune–-something that’s in full effect on Everblack. Whether it’s the pacing of Trevor Strnad’s rasp, an infectious riff, a brilliantly placed gang vocal chant or otherwise, songs from Everblack find a way to stay in your brain for a while.
When it comes down to it, however, The Black Dahlia Murder are just playing some old-fashioned death metal like they always have been. While it may be new, high quality content for the band it’s still more of the same. Everblack doesn’t seem likely to attract any new fans for the band, but longtime fans will be incredibly pleased overall. If nothing else, Everblack adds to an impressive catalog for a band that doesn’t really show any signs of slowing down.
Review written by: Jordan Munson – Follow him on Twitter
You can find all sorts of preorders for Everblack and other merch for the band over at their IndieMerch store. Everblack drops June 11 on Metal Blade records.