Hey indie rock nerd, Iím a metal guy. I expect music to thrash, shred, and disembowel while you enjoy bands that sing about discos and crying in front of women. Do you even know the difference between grind and grindcore? Thatís what I thought. So, Usounds has asked me to be your guide through the pitchblack caverns of pure metal brutality while you listen to Arcade Fire and drink some sort of ironic beer. The only problem is that today Iím reviewing The Black Dahlia Murder.
First of all, I’m not in the business of judging artwork but if you want to know what you’re getting into with Nocturnal, the bandís third release, check out the Vincent Price garage sale cover. Some spooky castle perched on a mountain with creepy gargoyles. That shit isnít metal. I donít need to see a human skull being crushed by a tri-horned demon or a woman clinging to the rippled thigh of a netherworld warrior, but this is something my mom would paint on velvet. And while thatís embarrassing the music isnít much better.
To be fair, if youíre really into Art Brut, Black Dahlia will possibly make you shit your Diesels. Blast beats, alternating screams and growls, and shrieking guitar solos roll at a freight train pace the entire length of the record. The problem is that this exact thing has been done for the last 20 years (At The Gates, Carcass) and itís never sounded so harmless. The production is crystal clear, eliminating the all important noise aspect and shaving off any edge the band may have had. And even then every song still sounds the same. At one point I thought I was listening to ďDeathmask DivineĒ, and it turned out to be ďClimactic DegradationĒ the whole time.
So yeah, Nocturnal isnít good and Iím sorry. I really wanted to lead you on some sort of unholy journey through a valley of cursed souls, but instead I wrote most of this at an Arbyís and now Iím considering a nap. Next time I promise weíll go burn down a church or carve pentagrams on our foreheads or something real exciting. You ever heard of this band Slayer? Weíll check them out next time, Trust me itís going to be fucking awesome.