Michigan melocore monsters The Black Dahlia Murder are one of those bands who, over the past decade or so, have slowly crept up on fans and critics alike, spending their time building a critical mass of both acclaim and success which has resulted in them also becoming regarded as one of the most respected, and consistently impressive, acts working in a sub-genre which is all too often characterized by mediocre copycatism.
‘Abysmal’ – their ironically monickered powerhouse seventh album in their 14 year career (resulting in a release schedule which is remarkably consistent in a market marked by its antithesis of the same) – is also something of a landmark for the band, as it is the first to be released with the same line up as on its predecessor. Of course, automatically tempting fate by naming their album after one of the most counter-defined words in the English language is a brave step – but it is one which TBDM take in the other direction in terms of its interpretation.
For this is truly an album which plumbs the depths of the deplorable unfathomability of the death metal genre. It is dark, dense and claustrophobic, but at the same time enlightening and revelatory. It broods and snaps, snarls and growls. It roars with pride and speaks volumes both for and of itself, in terms of the energy and the progressive power which it delivers. It is an album which proves that pure, honest, no nonsense death metal can mix it up with some of its more febrile, fertile and antagonistic upstart sub genres and come out the other side stronger and more powerful than ever.
Receipt / Vlad, Son Of The Dragon / Abysmal / Re-Faced / Threat Level Number Three / The Fog / Stygiophobic / Asylum / The Advent / That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead
Recommended listening: Asylum
‘Abysmal’ is out now on Metal Blade.