The Black Dahlia Murder
Everblack


3.5
great

Review

by Subrick USER (36 Reviews)
June 12th, 2013 | 21 replies


Release Date: 06/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Continuing to evolve ever so slightly.

The Black Dahlia Murder are one of those bands you can always expect to release quality music with every release they put out. For the past decade they have been doing nothing but making albums, touring, and building upon their past records by injecting new ideas and influences into the mix without it overtaking their melodic death metal base. Having proved themselves as more than just another melodeath band with Nocturnal, the band have since put out Deflorate, an album that I really only liked two or three songs off of, Ritual, which to me is their best and hardest hitting album, and the subject of this review, Everblack. Despite my still preferring Ritual at the end of the day, Everblack shows that the band are still evolving, still shifting ever so slightly with each album, and, most importantly, still making great extreme metal.

A major change I noticed on first listen is that the Gothenburg-style riff work the band has based most of their songs around since their inception is in the least supply here of all their records. It's still there in songs such as "Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn" and "Control", but this is easily the least Swedish sounding Black Dahlia album yet. The guitar work is still very melodic though, never reaching true death metal brutality throughout the album's 44 minute run time, although to be fair to the band that's not their intention at all. The band have never been about being the most brutal or craziest band in death metal; they've always put legible, interesting songwriting first and instrument gymnastics a far, far second, a trend that has thankfully continued on Everblack and, thankfully, does not seem like it'll be going away anytime soon. Building their songs around mostly traditional structures as they always have, there's also a very noticeable black metal undercurrent coursing throughout much of the record. This is most prominent in tracks like "Goat of Departure", "Every Rope a Noose", and "Into the Everblack", the latter of which features an excellent keyboard break in the middle of the song that builds up the proper anticipation needed for the song's guitar solo. One thing that I will say somewhat disappointed me is that the songs don't have the same edge that the ones on Ritual did. On that record, you had tunes like "A Shrine to Madness", "Carbonized in Cruciform", "Den of the Picquerist", and "On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood" that served as the perfect musical punch to the face that you want from death metal. The guitars being more melodic has caused a lot of that edge to be lost, and while the songs are still quite good, it does feel like a little bit of a letdown considering just how ruthless Ritual could be. The tracks mostly have their own identity and are distinguishable from one another, which is all the more good since many death metal albums tend to have numerous tracks that just run together no matter how many spins you give them.

On the performance side, each member, as expected, puts their all into it and doesn't disappoint. Brian Eschbach and Ryan Knight hold down the fort on rhythm and lead guitars respectively, with Eschbach never missing a note throughout the whole record and Knight's lead work remaining a staple of the band's sound ever since he joined in 2008. The man knows how to properly balance showing off and reigning it in, something becoming all the less common in modern death metal. The bass work of Max Lavelle is fairly audible, if a little bit too underneath the guitars, although you're still able to tell that the former Despised Icon member is playing his socks off, even if he is mostly just following the guitars. The biggest misconception I've seen regarding the addition of new drummer Alan Cassidy is that his style of drumming on this album is significantly different from Shannon Lucas's. Those people must not have listened to the same album I did, as the drums, while differing in places such as fills and rolls, still very much sound like something Lucas would have written had he stayed in the band through this album's recording process. It probably helps that Lucas already wrote most of the album's drums before he left. Cassidy's feel is much different from Lucas's, but the style is still very much the same. Trevor Strnad's vocals still sound like a wheezing cat, but I don't mind them. He's obviously caring and not just going through the motions, plus his voice is incredibly unique and easily recognizable, so he gets a pass from me. I will also say that the album's production is, for the most part, fantastic. It has a very natural tone to it, the drums in particular sounding like actual drums and not samples pulled from an electronic kit's module. It's never too loud and everything is at the proper volume, save the bass which, as mentioned, could be turned up a little bit.

If Ritual didn't already do it, then Everblack should be the album where all of The Black Dahlia Murder's detractors realize that the band is not just some two-bit At the Gates rip off, as they have very much shed away that label ever since Nocturnal was released 6 years ago. They have their own identity and sound now, and I expect their future offerings to show them continuing to evolve and making slight adjustments to their music with each passing album. As mentioned many words ago, I still overall prefer Ritual to Everblack when all is said and done, but this in no way significantly diminishes the great music found on this album, and it is a must have for any extreme metal fan.



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user ratings (419)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
kvltwalter (3.5)
The Black Dahlia Murder serve you a heaping dish of meaty metal goodness...that you've been served f...

NeoSpaz (3.5)
The Black Dahlia Murder pick up their game....


Comments:Add a Comment 
VinesOvThorn
June 12th 2013


198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album. Wayyyyyy better then Ritual.

EvoHavok
June 12th 2013


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You might want to edit those two giant paragraphs. The review is well written, but I think those two other guys didn't bother to read when they negged.

Digging: At the Gates - At War with Reality

bloc
June 12th 2013


34925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have this rated the same as Ritual, but I think I like Ritual a bit more for now.

Subrick
June 12th 2013


46 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review is about the same size as every other review I do; between 900-1100 words. The middle paragraphs are also about the same size, which is usually never the case in my reviews.

EvoHavok
June 12th 2013


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I understand. I just think that could be a reason why you got two neg's so fast. The content seems fine to me, you know.

Subrick
June 12th 2013


46 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There might be a few people still bugged that I gave Beyond Creation and Rings of Saturn very negative reviews, hence the instantly down votes.

FinalWord
June 12th 2013


99 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

honest review, have a pos'd

NeoSpaz
June 12th 2013


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty sure the negs are comng because you only gave this 3.5 and people are orgasming over this way hard. but good review, so have a pos son

Wizard
June 12th 2013


19519 Comments


Great review dude. I`ve read a lot of reviews on this stating this is their best album but I can`t tell the difference between this to previous albums.

And fuck off to those who negged.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

EJinHD
June 12th 2013


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review. Does anyone else think that nocturnal is a tad over rated?

VinesOvThorn
June 12th 2013


198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope Nocturnal is their best work.

NonApplicable
June 13th 2013


1989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is almost on par with Ritual. My only problem is, the tracks don't individual identities like on Ritual.

EvoHavok
June 13th 2013


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nocturnal, Ritual and Everblack are pretty much on par for me. Dunno which I would choose as my favorite right now.

Eclecticist
June 13th 2013


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I preferred Deflorate and Nocturnal.

VinesOvThorn
June 13th 2013


198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Deflorate? Thats there weakest fo sho

Tyrael
June 13th 2013


20900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is on par with ritual

review is very good, pos

Epictemptation
June 14th 2013


88 Comments


Never got into them, maybe I will try again.

Uranium
June 14th 2013


7234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Deflorate is my faves.

JOIN US, BLACK VALOR'S ON OUR SIDE!!!!!!!!!

This cd kicks arse

Piquerist
June 16th 2013


20 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've always felt Deflorate got a bad rap. It has amazing songs on it. Still trying to decide whether I like this one better than Ritual, although it is a fantastic album.

Subrick
June 16th 2013


46 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deflorate has some excellent songs on it (Black Valor, Necropolis, Christ Deformed, and I Will Return being the best of them), but while it did move the band's sound forward a bit (see, once again, I Will Return), it was too much like Nocturnal.



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