The Black Dahlia Murder: Abysmal

Michigan’s melodic death metal deviants hit an impasse

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The Black Dahlia Murder have long since proved wrong those who saw them as just another hip melodic death metal band.

The eviscerating Nocturnal album in 2007 consolidated just how good they were at elevating hyper-speed technical brutality beyond the studio sterility of their peers, drowning it with pitch-black atmospherics and neck-snapping hooks.

Doubtless that was a great source of pride for Trevor Strnad, a man whose ability to strip flesh with his vocals is surpassed only by his encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre.

Abysmal is yet another remorseless thrasher cranked up as soon as the anxiety-inducing strings of Receipt die down, flaying all and anything, especially on the furious Asylum. Ryan Knight’s outstanding lead playing has time to breathe and is at its most virtuous on The Advent, a beacon of inspiration within songs that deliver in intensity, but fail to surprise. TBDM always felt like they would break the mould, yet seven albums in, they find themselves entombed within one of their own creation.