The Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual

Probably one of only a few select modern death metal groups to be equally respected from both the hardened extreme metal community and fresh faced scene kids, The Black Dahlia Murder have been waging their own unique path across the last 10 years and four records. For their fifth album, the Michigan troupe has delved into their darker sides ? and dictionaries ? for the occult and mysticism themed ?Ritual?. Break out the incense, dust off the Ouija board and let?s begin the conjuration.

Usually at this point of the review the record?s best songs are mentioned and described in detail and big fancy words are used. Well, the problem with ?Ritual? is that every damn song is a highlight. Seriously, you can be safe to put this album into your cd player and not have to worry about dashing back to hit the ?skip? button when a dud track comes on. However, for the sake of good journalism, here is cream of the crop ? ?The Window?, ?Conspiring With The Damned?, ?Malenchantments of the Necrosphere?, ?A Shrine To Madness? and the punk influenced ?Den of the Picquerist?. Their vicious assault is a venomous as ever, but there is something slightly different lurking under the surface of every frenzied down-pick and blastbeat – it?s the sound of metal being played hard, fast and brutally, but also with numerous hooks and melodic ear-catchers. As always, Shannon Lucas? drum work is bludgeoning, while the shrieking and grunting of bespectacled frontman Trevor Strnad isn?t bringing anything new to the table but it?s still as impressive as always.

Guitarist Ryan Knight?s incredible playing and enhanced song-writing contribution might be the catalyst to the record, with his insane chops and faintly ?outside of the box? note choices keeping the listener guessing at every turn, such as the amazing melody line on the chorus ?Moonlight Equilibrium? ? which happens to be a classic anthem for the band if there ever was one.

From strength to strength, ?Ritual? is an outstanding record from The Black Dahlia Murder and will feature highly any many ?best of 2011? lists. Even though this review was quick to dub Sylosis? ?Edge of the Earth? release as potentially the finest full length put out this year, perhaps it?s already been trumped by The Black Dahlia Murder?s ?Ritual? –  and it?s a scary thought that the band has the talent to actually top this release.

Rating: 9.5/10
Label: Metal Blade Records

By Andrew Kapper

One Comment

  1. skullfullofmaggots says:

    its good