The Black Dahlia Murder
Ritual


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (196 Reviews)
June 14th, 2011 | 633 replies | 54,805 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ritual is an album that is great in its own right, but does not stand as tall as the band's other releases.

The Michigan five-piece are at it again, it’s still The Black Dahlia Murder as listeners can expect but there is something different here in ‘Ritual’s’ overall design. Essentially this is an album that shows the bands consistent approach to their music without becoming too much of the same thing. The added song and creative input of guitarist Ryan Knight can be recognised throughout and its shaping of the album adds levels of flair without compromising the end product. With various tracks being streamed before the release of the album (tracks such as ‘Moonlight Equilibrium’ and ‘Conspiring With The Damned’) that built hype at a level where listeners upon receiving the album as a whole would have an idea of what was to come. The entire album was eventually streamed on the 14th of June via messaging service; MSN.

Using the same producer (Mark Lewis) as they used on their previous record ‘Deflorate’ allows a more easy going recording process, this in-turn allows for more focus for each member in the studio and the end result is a cohesive and focused album. As far as death metal records go this is everything listeners can expect. Ritual is full of energy and thick of texture. From dissonant riff chords and the progression of the rhythm sections to some exemplary lead work displayed in the solos, fans of the genre and the band will be very much pleased. Other instrumentation is clearly benefiting this time around in the studio. This includes a more noticeable bass line that gives the up-tempo patterns a solid backbone to work from. Positively the man behind the cymbals Shannon Lucas knows when to both lift the intensity and when required drop it back a notch. With a steady flow of blast beats and double bass work peppered with a tasteful fill provides the listener with a lot to take in. The vocal work of front man Trevor Strnad presents the listener with mid to high range screams coupled with deep growls adding some diversity to the album and explores the bands tone colour in a wider manner, not to mention maintains the listeners’ attention over a longer period of time over the length of the record.

While there is nothing technically lacking on this latest release it does not seem to have the same punch as previous efforts. Listeners may feel that they are getting used to the overall recipe and end up being desensitized when hearing ‘Ritual’. Tracks come and go and eventually feel like they mesh together losing some of the listeners’ initial interest. Creatively speaking it’s the instrumentation and use of expressive techniques that regain attention and maintain it throughout the length of this record. Mixing influences from across the metal board The Black Dahlia Murder present the listener with some interesting combinations; some styles prominent in both the American and European metal fields. Highlights on the album include the pre-release tracks and for good reason. These tracks show the technical ability and talents to help advertise the album in a positive light. "Conspiring with the Damned" displays those attributes greatly and even includes a slow tempo mid-section creating diversity within the track itself. It also contains the leads and melody lines to keep the guitar-nuts enthused. "Carbonized in Cruciform" also hints at some folk metal styles, found especially in the introductory guitar riffs and some of the vocal structuring. Not to mention the acoustic layering heard at some parts of the track add to the albums overall diversity and listening levels. Listeners may need to be warned that ‘Ritual’ does tend to drag in places.

The Black Dahlia Murder has released a quality record following up from Deflorate. They show much of what it means to release consistent efforts even if this release does not have some of the impact seen elsewhere. From start to finish fans especially will be captivated by the aggression and melody combined with the members respective talent of their instruments. For those who have a respect for the genre they should still be urged to pick this up.

Recommended Tracks:
• Moonlight Equilibrium
• Carbonized in Cruciform
• Blood in the Ink



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user ratings (706)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alexandre Hamel (4)
Everything a death metal fan should expect from an album is in "Ritual"; The Black Dahlia Murder are...

Mark M. (3.5)
The Black Dahlia Murder pulls of the theme to "Ritual" quite well; however the sound is pretty much ...

Darion Paone (4.5)
An excellent successor to blockbuster "Deflorate" proves that The Black Dahlia Murder has found a gr...


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


Here we go guys. What do you think?
Does anyone else feel that the high-end screams have a touch of Dani Filth to them?

MO
June 15th 2011



18180 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"band's"

Hawks
June 15th 2011



34194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review. Was thinking about reviewing this, but won't now since we have the same rating and opinion.

Digging: Manners - Pale Blue Light

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


ah yes in the summary? will fix. Thanks man.
Thanks Hawks it was actually a fairly quick write up. Although it's longer than most if not all of my other reviews.

Nerevar91
June 15th 2011



20 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Still can't really get into these guys. There is something missing.

BallsToTheWall
June 15th 2011



44164 Comments


Awful band should have been taken behind the shed a long time ago.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


@Neverar91, What's your usual listens? I prefer the growls over the screams.

Any Feedback, review wise?

Decapod
June 15th 2011



1003 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Digging the new album. Still not better than Deflorate.

Nerevar91
June 15th 2011



20 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I listen to death, black, and thrash metal. I love growls and screams. These guys have always just sounded bland. They are fast and technical yes. But there is no substance or balls to their riffs.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


Ok, for me that translates to; too much of the same thing when there is better elsewhere.

Does this sound about right?

RosaParks
June 15th 2011



14592 Comments


Have never listened to this band. Probably not going to start now

Nerevar91
June 15th 2011



20 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty much haha. They have always had this sort of Slaughter of the Soul rip off sound.

But yes, I thought the review was great.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


I seem to be on a heavier metal phrase for the last couple of weeks, that and some good ol' folk/pagan metal.
Thanks man, you seem to be new to the site, so... let me introduce to the 'was this review well written? section Yes/No' For some reason writer's like seeing lots of yes's.

CrimsonChin
June 15th 2011



116 Comments


Awesome album after first listen, and I hear it's a grower too. Good review btw.

Nerevar91
June 15th 2011



20 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ah, i see. gave you a yes.
and actually i've been using this site for like 2 years. but i just now made an account for some reason.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


Ah fair enough. Well welcome.

Thanks CrimsonChin. Not really growing on me at the moment. It's just there, that's all.

ZombicidalMan
June 15th 2011



1704 Comments


'Listeners may feel that they are getting used to the overall recipe and end up being desensitized...'

I felt like this by the end of Unhallowed. Good review though.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


Cheers- im still kinda paranoid about this getting taken down

ev0ken
June 15th 2011



586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol. i'm pretty sure it won't get taken down. good review. will eventually get around listening to it within the next few days.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2011



6921 Comments


Thanks ev0. Much appreciated. This is probably i best 'new release' review so far.



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