The Black Dahlia Murder Ritual

The Black Dahlia Murder Ritual
Detroit, MI melodic death metal five-piece the Black Dahlia Murder's fifth full-length, Ritual, overcomes the debate of whether they're hardcore or metal, yet again confirming their progressive musicality and metal genre validity. Fans may recognize "Malenchantments of the Necrosphere," which has been available on Metal Blade's website for months, featuring one of the most intricate BDM guitar solos yet. "Den of the Picquerist," the thrashiest track, puts new drummer Shannon Lucas (formerly of All That Remains) under the spotlight, showcasing his immaculate blast beat-style and a memorable solo. Sadly, as much as Ritual is a well-structured metal album, it's technicality takes away from its creativity. Sure, symphonic elements amidst harmonized riffs and vocalist Trevor Strnd's range of gutturals and ear-splitting shrieks are cool, but they've been done. The album begins on the slower side, not straying far from Black Dahlia Murder's style until about midway ("Carbonized in Cruciform"). Regardless, they are a band with perfect musical timing and rhythm, and this shines through most in the album. Strnds' vocal ability and lyrical content have progressed, for the better, juxtaposed against the consistency in the harmonized riffs and Lucas's unfathomable blast beats. (Metal Blade)