The Black Dahlia Murder
Nocturnal


4.5
superb

Review

by ThyCrossAwaits USER (46 Reviews)
August 30th, 2008 | 69 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cannibal Corpse Meets the Wolfman

The Black Dahlia Murder have never unleashed a horror the likes of this before. Despite having released only three full albums, the BDM have already reached the peak of their melodic death metal perfection, and it's name is this, Nocturnal.

Nocturnal is The Black Dahlia Murder's third release through Metal Blade records, and it's a landslide, two hurricanes, and a Godzilla attack ahead of it's two predecessors (2003's Unhallowed and 2005's Miasma). A good bloody chunk of the progress goes to vocalist Trevor Strnad, for polishing his previously raspy high scream into a sleek screech comparable to Robert Plant channeling Gollum. Strnad's schizoid approach to vocal acrobatics couples his shriek with a low growl that can only be described as belching.

Backing Trevor Strnad's throat-ripping, is a monstrous hell-beast consisting of guitarists Brian Eschbach and John Kempainen, bassist Ryan Williams, and drummer Shannon Lucas. The fretwork of Eschbach and Kempainen is nothing short of crunching. Their ever-shifting style of melodic mini-solos, dropping into string-crushing low chords creates a drooling, jagged-toothed maw of a wall-o'-sound. However, the true cornerstone of the BDM and head of the beast is backing man Shannon Lucas. Throughout the album he pummels the tar out of his set and shifts unrelentingly into machine-gun blast beats.

Even through their technical mastery, the Murder bring something else to the table: melody. It's an odd word to find in an extreme metal album, but on Nocturnal, main writers Strnad and Eschbach really pull out the melodic part from melodic death metal. The songwriting is exceptional, and each song is easily distinguishable from the next. From the armageddon screamer Everything Went Black, to the disturbing, metal-style love song Deathmask Divine, each song is a gem to be admired. The first single, What A Horrible Night to Have a Curse, is as good as it gets. Strnad screams his larynx out and Eschbach and Kempainen bounce melodic chord progressions as Lucas busts holes with his sticks. At the end, Trevor layers shriek after shriek into a climax worthy of being bellowed from atop Dracula's castle tower. The title track brings the sum-total of the album into a churning cauldron of brutality and melody. The opening guitar pounds on your eardrums almost as hard as Shannon rips on his drums. Trevor Strnad spits syllables a mile a minute before falling into his demonic low growl.

What truly makes Nocturnal a disembodied head above the rest, is the fact that it puts everything good about The Black Dahlia Murder, and puts it all in perfect place in only ten tracks. While Unhallowed and Miasma were spitting, hissing heaps of insane dual vocals and instrumental work to kill us all, Nocturnal is more precise, more polished. Mature, if you will. With Cannibal Corpse Meets the Wolfman lyrics, and hammering melodic death metal, the BDM have perfected their sound, and in an astoundingly short time. This is The Black Dahlia Murder at their absolute best.

Recommended: Everything Went Black, What A Horrible Night to Have A Curse, Virally Yours, Nocturnal, Deathmask Divine, Climactic Degradation.



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user ratings (1379)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Samuel Mclean (4.5)
This album is heralded by many as the magnum of opus of the US melodic death metal effort The Black ...

DespisedIcon621 (4)
All in all, this is an excellent release, fans of the modern day extreme music scene will like this,...

Micheal Scarn (5)
The defining album for a band struggling so hard to define themselves. Well worth a listen....

Luke M. Jenkins (Confessed) (4)
Nocturnal takes everything that makes The Black Dahlia Murder unique and interesting and multiplies ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ThyCrossAwaits
August 30th 2008


3070 Comments


sorry if its a bit short, just got all i wanted to say in. feedback plz

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2008


17946 Comments


ok the horror movie similes are pretty terrible.

foreverendeared
August 30th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm sorry but this review is full of terrible over exaggeration, including your rating. try keeping your descriptions more realistic

taylormemer
August 30th 2008


4953 Comments


lulz

marksellsuswallets
August 30th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Things like thee, they, and shalt are fun to use, but shalt is used rather awkwardly in the first paragraph. Shalt is somewhat of a future tense thing and its kind of being used as a past/present tense there. Also you say "they're" instead of "their" a few times.

I'm sure I won't be the only one to say this but you spend way to much time praising everything about the band, and it would be helpful to know exactly why they deserve it, i.e. examples of parts in songs or comparisons to other artists in terms of technical ability and the like. I like TBDM quite a bit but I think a 5 is just a tad to overboard for this album, though it is one of the better melodic death metal albums of the past year or so.


What truly makes Nocturnal a disembodied head above the rest

Sorry but that's kind of...refrain from doing that in future if at all possibleThis Message Edited On 08.30.08This Message Edited On 08.30.08

ironman4444
August 30th 2008


276 Comments


A bit biased but you have some points, you just have to highlight those a bit more.

south_of_heaven 11
August 30th 2008


5438 Comments


lolocaust

SHOOTME
August 30th 2008


2393 Comments


you are trying, and i appreciate that, but yeah i have to agree with chaning and foreverendeared.

charlesfishtitz
August 30th 2008


784 Comments


cerebral lawlzy

bustyagunz
August 30th 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

While Unhallowed and Miasma were spitting, hissing heaps of insane dual vocals and instrumental work to kill us all

I'm pretty positive Trevor is the only vocalist they've ever had, thankfully.

Edit: Unless you mean his going high and low, which you prolly did d'oh. And how did this albums average drop below Miasma?This Message Edited On 08.30.08

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2008


17231 Comments


Hai glowing over exaggeration of a decent album.

Trevor layers shriek after shriek into a climax worthy of being bellowed from atop Dracula's castle tower.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.
Nice try though, better luck next time.

foreverendeared
August 30th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this almost feels like a joke review

SHOOTME
August 30th 2008


2393 Comments


it's still better than nearly all his other review, which is the specific reason why i won't neg.

BallsToTheWall
August 30th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Worst...band...ever.

ThyCrossAwaits
August 30th 2008


3070 Comments


crap i did misuse "they're". i'm so ashamed... and i thought the horror story stuff was just something funny to put in.

marksellsuswallets
August 30th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you must use humor, biting sarcasm and cynicism ftw!

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2008


17231 Comments


The review wasnt necessarily bad, but it was a tad over the top.

ThyCrossAwaits
August 30th 2008


3070 Comments


the BDM always struck me as Jack Black humor...

marksellsuswallets
August 30th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm guess it was the video for Statutory Ape that gave you that impression? lawl
Seriously though, just try to refine the humor next time, because I have faith that you can be funny, really I do.

ThyCrossAwaits
August 30th 2008


3070 Comments


ya exactly. these guys are over the top if anyone is.



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