The Black Dahlia Murder
Deflorate


3.0
good

Review

by TBliss USER (33 Reviews)
August 9th, 2010 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Certainly not on par with the benchmark that The Black Dahlia Murder have set for themselves.

2007’s ‘Nocturnal’ is, and most likely will always be, The Black Dahlia Murder’s magnum opus. The combination of some ferocious instrumentation and Trevor Strnad’s undeniably catchy vocal lines made for an album that was just as sinister as it was enjoyable.

And so, hopes for the bands follow up ‘Deflorate’ were understandably high, especially with the news that Arsis shredder Ryan Knight had stepped in to replace former lead guitar player John Kempainen. Unfortunately, Knights debut album, for all his six string prowess, fails to live up to the bands previous glories.

This certainly is not to say that ‘Deflorate’ is a bad record. Opener ‘Black Valor’ explodes into action at an energizing pace, with Strnad impressing as he spits his lyrics with a bracing venom. Indeed, the vocals remain the highlight attribute of the band, with the piercing highs and the guttural lows consistently powerful, especially on the particularly virulent attack of ‘A Selection Unnatural’.

The riff work, whilst remaining strong, seems to lack the technical bluster which was so appealing on ‘Nocturnal’. Although there are a few outstanding exceptions, such as the expeditious guitar lines which launch ‘Death Panorama’, many of the riffs seem to be bland, single note affairs which do little to enrich the songs with any vigour or dynamism.

The leads, as I previously mentioned, also fall short of prior standards. Kempainen, although having suffered much criticism for his solos, impressed me with his darkly melodic execution, and a deficiency of this on ’Deflorate’ is something that ultimately has a harmful effect on the album. Knights sweep/tap approach, perfectly suitable for ex-outfit Arsis, just sounds redundant with the context of TBDM’s music, and although it is definitely remarkable, here it just simply does not fit. Hopefully Knights melodious slant in the exceptional leads of closer ’I Will Return’, his soaring execution making these two the most memorable solos on the record, will be something that the band give further attention too in the future.

Shannon Lucas again demonstrates why he is one of metals most competent percussionists. His double bass control, rolling fills and furious blast beats are characteristically tight and tastefully implemented, with the aforementioned ‘A Selection Unnatural’ containing a particularly technical and seething performance.

‘Deflorate’ does present brief flickers of what The Black Dahlia Murder are capable of. Yet regrettably these glimpses of brilliance are just too few and far between in an album that seems just content with playing it safe. A distinct reduction in energy and enthusiasm in the instrumentation, and a lessening of melodic exertion in the lead guitar, means that the band have churned out a record that is good, but certainly not on par with the benchmark that The Black Dahlia Murder have set for themselves.



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user ratings (1307)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
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Melodic Death Metal giants return with a pulse-pounding gem of an album....

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The Black Dahlia Murder step up their efforts and deliver a solid performance and a really fun album...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
accompliceofmydeath
August 9th 2010


4921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The vocals on this kind of annoy me, but I'll give it another listen. I remember it being pretty "meh"

TBliss
August 9th 2010


987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, most thought it was meh. It does have some great moments though.

Antiquity
August 9th 2010


86 Comments


This band bores me.

FadeToBlack
August 9th 2010


11043 Comments


rightfully so

TBliss
August 9th 2010


987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nocturnal really was fantastic though

Yeahtoast
August 10th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review man, pospospos. I rememeber sitting down to listen to this for the first time, disgustingly excited. Terrible. Serious let down after such an awesome album.

GenNarain
August 10th 2010


781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Black Valor, Necropolis, Christ Deformed, and I Will Return are the only memorable songs off this album

Yeahtoast
August 10th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I Will Return is the only memorable one for me. The rest are so dispensible when compared to anything off Nocturnal.

TBliss
August 10th 2010


987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really like Black Valor and A Selection Unnatural. The rest I could never listen to again and be happy. Its not that they are terrible, its just Nocturnal is so much better.

Hawks
August 10th 2010


89542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nocturnal is definitely their best by far. This was still really good though.

Hawks
August 10th 2010


89542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely better than Unhallowed. It's kind of tied with Miasma for me.

TBliss
August 10th 2010


987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

tbh I havent listened to Unhallowed more Miasma for years, but I would probably agree it is on par with Miasma. I still prefer Unhallowed over both, mabye just for pure nostalga, and Nocturnal is lightyears ahead of everything they have done.



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