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Black Dahlia Murder, Ritual
Metal Blade Records, June 27

08/18/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Judging by the ceaseless muffled bitching from fans, BDM are at the stage where they’ll have little recourse but to go back to the sound of their first couple of albums, and then, once the death-to-posers dweebs shut their pie-holes, get back to building on this, which tries to please a lot of different palates. No, there’s no emo or whatever here; they were thrash-metal’s hottest commodity after the release of Miasma and know their role, but the sound and fury does signify something this time. No, I don’t mean the serial killer lyrics or whatever they’re babbling about, nor the cookie monster vocals, as paired up with your basic dollar-store Quorthon cacodemon-shrieks, which similarly break no new ground. But anyone who’s ever dug death/extreme stuff in any shape or form will find something to like, as I did with, and I quote, “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood,” which swivels its devil head around toil-and-trouble monotone riffing that wants to scare the SpongeBob pajamas off Nile’s little brother. Plenty of government-issue chromatic lead-guitar work duking it out with cartoon growly grumbling don’t do it for me, however, not when I have literally thousands of LPs in this house that do that stuff — do bands like this actually believe they’re the only ones doing it, or that they’re so much more worthy than their closest competitor, seriously? B —Eric W. Saeger






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