Published Oct 02, 2017The Black Dahlia Murder have been one of the most exciting death metal bands to watch evolve over the last two decades, so it comes as no surprise that their eighth studio album, Nightbringers, is another masterpiece. Through their killer work ethic and exceptional skills individually and collectively, the band have crafted their most mature album to date.
Opening track "Widowmaker" has a familiar vibe for fans of the band's sound, flirting between blast beats and melodic yet grinding guitar riffs reminiscent of material from their seminal third album, Nocturnal. The Black Dahlia Murder have grown since then, though, and they display a heightened level of technicality and prowess through every note of this album. Whether it's the complex rhythms found on "Matriarch," the savage drum work on "Of God and Serpent, Of Spectre and Snake" or the elaborate bass work on "The Lonely Deceased," each member demonstrates expertise on the record, while collectively becoming better than ever before.
The band have faced frequent member changes over the years, but this has somehow improved their sound each time. With the addition of former Arsis and Cannabis Corpse guitarist Brandon Ellis, the band's solos have become an unreal example of instrumental mastery. The solos on the album are melodic despite being extremely intricate, which is best exemplified in the intro found on "As Good as Dead."
A major aspect of each album from the Black Dahlia Murder has been vocalist Trevor Strnad's vast vocal range and horrifying lyrics, which are as impressive as ever here. Strnad's signature high-pitched shrieks and guttural growls are swapped around seamlessly on tracks like "Kings of the Nightworld" and "Matriarch," which deals with an extremely violent tale of a woman cutting another person's baby from their stomach in an attempt to steal it. Other tracks tackle themes of violence and anti-Christianity, such as the haunting imagery of flesh being stored for consumption on "Jars," or the brutal call for the mutilation of Christ on the album's title track.
While the Black Dahlia Murder have always been an impressive band, Nightbringers finds them on top of their game and performing better than ever before. The album has elements of their earlier material, but presents them with a polished and perfected vibe across the board. For a band with such an impressive catalogue, it's incredible that they're still capable of outdoing themselves at this point in their career. (Metal Blade)