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9/10

The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual

Jonathan Horsley
Jonathan Horsley 25 June at 09.54
The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual Cover

This is straight-up melodic death metal, and none of the feeble shit either...

Frontman Trevor Strnad’s first tattoo was inspired by Carcass’ ‘Tools Of The Trade’ cover art but his appreciation of extreme metal’s more powerful and profound voices runs deeper than the skin on his arm. The Black Dahlia Murder, for whatever reason, get slam dunked by old goats into the kiddycore crèche without pause for thought, like just because their audience is young, mosh-mobilised and the T-shirt aesthetic is hyper-coloured and intricate. That’s all hogwash: The Black Dahlia Murder are just straight-up melodic death metal (and not the total feeble shit neither), if anything their sound is informed as much by post-‘Necroticism…’ Carcass and Swedish blackened death metal iconoclasts Dissection as it is by anything around today – like, swab the high-tempo verses of ‘A Shrine To Madness’ or ‘Den of The Picquerist’ for traces of ‘Night’s Blood’, it’s all over it. Indeed, if they’ve imported any of their sound it’s Gothenburg melodeath played through a prism of their panoramic vision of metal. It shows throughout ‘Ritual’, their fifth and most crucial effort. Like Wes Craven reanimating the slasher genre with the Scream franchise, The Black Dahlia Murder play with enough conviction and knowing reference to metal’s most spectacular parlour tricks and add enough contemporary muscle to drop your jaw no matter your age.

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