Artist: The Black Dahlia Murder
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: October 6th 2017
Review by Steve Jenkins
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. Releasing an album every two years since their 2003 debut, Unhallowed, they have garnered respect and an incredibly loyal following with consistency and absolute high quality releases. TBDM are now elite when it comes to not only melodic death metal, but metal in general, there's no stopping them, and Nightbringers is the album that people are going to remember as perhaps their best effort yet.
Over the years, TBDM have gone from melodic death metal, to melodic death metal with additional heavy influences such as technical death metal, thrash metal and even black metal. Thanks to the newest addition to the band, with Brandon Ellis on guitar, he adds a monstrous collection of riffs and solos that are among some of the best to be ever heard on a TBDM record. Every track on here is visceral and ferocious, with breakneck speed taking you by the throat the entire time. The production on Nightbringers is suberb also, with Max Lavelle coming through clear as day on the bass which can often be left on the outside throughout all of the ridiculous drum fills by Alan Cassidy and heavy breakdowns that the band are known for, but not in this case. Trevor Strnad on vocals is as always a highlight and he is an absolute master of his craft, they really do act as the blade on a knife, but here on this album it's more like a damn chainsaw going straight through you with full force.
There's still very much a horror theme on Nightbringers, with Trevor Strnad being an absolute lyrical genius as always. Songs like "Jars" which is about collecting and storing human flesh, only to eat it later, tasty! Almost as tasty as the riffs that you'll hear blasting you in the face whilst Trevor screams about blood and guts. Then there's "Matriarch" which is told from the perspective of a woman who is unable to have a child, so she goes batshit crazy and stalks another lady before cutting her baby right out of her stomach. Pretty full on right? This is the soundtrack to the most macabre and horrifying horror movie ever, and it's bloody fantastic.
It's up there with the best the band has ever put out and among the best in the genre. TBDM have perfected melding hooks with pure brutality and I don't see evidence of anyone doing it better right now. TBDM have their own identity and sound, there's absolutely no other band that can imitate them, nor should they even try. This is a must have for any fan of extreme music, and after many repeated listens, I can safely say that this is the best that they've ever sounded.
9 out of 10.
Nightbringers is out October 6th via Metal Blade Records.