For those who aren’t familiar with The Black Dahlia Murder, the death metal band draw their name from an unsolved case involving the brutal murder of a young woman in California during the 1940s. Forming in 2001, the band has released eight albums, each of which has acted to convey the theme of brutality in aural format. The most recent of these, Nightbringers, is no different, with song titles including ‘Widowmaker’, ‘As Good as Dead’ and ‘The Lonely Deceased’.
Where this album does differ from its predecessors, however, is that it appears to eclipse each of them. The first track – ‘Widowmaker’ – opens with a pulsing that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie soundtrack, setting the sinister scene. This gives way to pummelling drums and tight guitar – a combination that is a prominent feature of the album. This is further highlighted on ‘Matriarch’, which tells the story of the stalking of a pregnant woman.
The title track of the record – ‘Nightbringers’ – starts by reigning in the pace for the first time in the album, with stomping downbeats that will have metal fans banging their heads. This deceleration does not make the music any less intricate though, with the track being punctuated by a soaring guitar solo in the middle. Perhaps the only criticism here is that it ends a little too abruptly.
Overall, this album does a fantastic job at conjuring a feeling of evil through the use of tight drumming, tight guitars… In fact, everything on this album feels tight, well-constructed, coming together to form music that swirls around you in an unrelenting spiral of darkness.
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