The Black Dahlia Murder
Style: Death Metal
Release date: 20 June, 2011
Playing time: 45:28

With their latest record 'Deflorate' (2009) I concluded that the Black Dahlia wouldn't peak anymore and would stay an average death metal core band. Now I have to take my words back, I made that judgment too soon. With new member Ryan Knight (ex-Arsis) on guitars, they've found new blood and together with songwriter Brian Eschbach they have written new strong songs.

You can hear the influence of Ryan on most of the tracks. The album leans much closer towards death metal and is less metal core. People that are disappointed with the new Morbid Angel will run away with some of the new Black Dahlia tracks. "On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood" for example they sound very (old) Morbid Angel-like. Another aspect that has improved is the vocal parts of Trevor Strnad. He growls as usual but his higher-pitched vocals sound like Dani Filth at times. Besides that you can find more new elements on this album. Sporadic acoustic guitars and piano parts give the songs more variation. Besides the brutal and fast death metal (core) songs, you find a grindcore song in "Den of the Picquerist" on the album also.

Readers who like the first albums don't have to be afraid, the style they are used to from Black Dahlia is still there, but they just improved in variation and song-writing. One of my favorite tracks is "Malenchanments of the Necrosphere", the song is based on a nice mid-tempo riff and that makes it a nice track, methinks. The guitar solo halfway into the song sees for the necessary resting point. Finally this band shows what they are capable of. They have finally matured.

Keywords for this album: surprisingly good, matured, best so far, thumbs up.


01. A Shrine to Madness
02. Moonlight Equilibrium
03. On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood
04. Conspiring With the Damned
05. The Window
06. Carbonized in Cruciform
07. Den of the Picquerist
08. Malenchanments of the Necrosphere
09. The Grave Robber's Work
10. The Raven
11. Great Burning Nullifier                                  12. Blood in the Ink

Label: Metal Blade Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 17 June, 2011