AlbumsNovember 29, 201124,096 views

The Black Dahlia Murder Nocturnal

01. Everything Went Black 02. What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse 03. Virally Yours 04. I Worship Only What You Bleed 05. Nocturnal 06. Deathmask Divine 07. Of Darkness Spawned 08. Climactic Degradation 09. To a Breathless Oblivion 10. Warborn
2007 Metal Blade Records
Our score 7

by Nick

Fact: The Black Dahlia Murder will always be in the musical shadows of metal founders At the Gates and Dissection. Yet that doesn't change the fact that The Black Dahlia Murder is easily one of the most recognizable names in today's melodic death metal genre. With the breakout success of 2003's Unhallowed, they showed that there was still a need for well-executed melodic death in the metal scene, despite the genre's seemingly over-saturated status. Four years later, the band is back with their third full-length, and is poised to tighten their already strong grip on the extreme music world. The most promising aspect of Nocturnal lies in the band's return to a writing style more akin to that of Unhallowed. Gone is the slight metalcore lean of Miasma, and instead, a more driving pace prevails throughout the record. The breakneck speeds are back, with much of the credit going to the band's newly revamped rhythm section, that of which is tighter than anything the band has previously boasted. Gothenburg-esque riffs are executed with the highest precision and vocalist Trevor Strnad's raspy screams and guttural lows are as intense as ever. Nocturnal is proof that Miasma was less of a "transitional period" and more of a slight misstep. Somewhere along the line the band must have realized that their knack was in the slightly thrashy melodic death sound, and not in the more groove oriented style of Miasma. Regardless, BDM fans should appreciate what Nocturnal has to offer. The album opener, "Everything Went Black," wastes no time in showing off the writing style of Nocturnal. The track alternates between tremolo and melodic riffing and sports a catchy chorus similar to those that made Unhallowed so memorable. The drumming is quite impressive throughout the disc, with the double-bass work in "Climactic Degradation" and the rigorous blasting of "Deathmask Divine" both serving as excellent examples. The compact punch of the two minute long "I Worship Only What You Bleed" is a standout track, and it's no-frills approach is extremely successful. No solo, no complex song structure, and no pussyfooting around. That's the type of BDM that I like to see. And it's nice to see that the band is still sticking with a concise, ten song package. There are a few brief moments of additional music touches (a short melodic interlude in "To a Breathless Oblivion," a movie quote in the title track, and a few random sound effects in the closer, "Warborn"), but on the whole, the record refrains from the gratuitous additions that seem to be weighing down a lot of other Metal Blade releases. Perhaps the only weak part of Nocturnal is guitarist Brian Eschbach's solo work. His ability to write memorable riffs is certainly the backbone of the band, but after three full-lengths of solos, it's getting more and more difficult to tell them all apart. The sweeping work in "Of Darkness Spawned" and the lightning-fast tapping in "Everything Went Black" are both admirable from a skill point of view, but there just isn't enough distinction between the solos on the album, not to mention the solos of the past two records, for them to remain engaging. Although his technical abilities have definitely progressed over the years, it appears that he is still riding the success of the up-and-down scaling style of the solo from arguably the band's most popular tune, "Funeral Thirst." This disappointment doesn't come close to offsetting the successes of Nocturnal, but solo enthusiasts might need to look elsewhere to get their fill. Bottom Line: Nocturnal is an extremely solid release from The Black Dahlia Murder, and it's return to the faster paces and more memorable songwriting of the group's Unhallowed-era is a definite plus. Metal purists will continue to clutch their Dissection records and cry "rip-off," but for those seeking an accessible slab of melodic death metal in today's music world, these guys are a safe bet.


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robert_ 9/16/2007 9:15:17 PM


zero_x_potential_ 9/16/2007 9:21:09 PM

Good as ATG may be, founders of metal they are not.

anonymous 9/16/2007 9:43:42 PM

unhollowed was a lot more metalcore than miasma, this is a good disc, but i think miasma is their best work.

hotaction_ 9/16/2007 10:14:30 PM

did you even listen to miasma..?? this is the same deal. a little bit faster. and im 1:07 into "worship.." and im hearing guitar solo. and speaking of solos what are you talking about?? how much variation do you want? id be weirded out if they started ripping some halen solos. plus i dont think any really goes to bdm for solos. (thats what the europeans are for) ill buy this cd regardless. this review blew big ol' balls.

Nick_ 9/16/2007 10:24:20 PM

Yes, there is like an eight second solo there. I must have missed it when I scanned through to double-check. My apologies for the technicality. That still doesn't change how the track sounds.

Mike_ 9/16/2007 10:36:48 PM

This is a great album.

Wormed_ 9/16/2007 10:53:10 PM

no Cory review? ha

bigego_ 9/16/2007 11:19:28 PM

i still like this band. whatever. the songs online sound better than miasma

ANGRY MOB_ 9/16/2007 11:25:26 PM


surfjam_ 9/16/2007 11:52:47 PM

this album f*cking sucks

anonymous 9/17/2007 12:17:42 AM


get__offyourcross_ 9/17/2007 3:16:31 AM

stoked on this but doubt i'll enjoy it as much as miasma

JT_ 9/17/2007 8:43:20 AM

Brian doesnt play the solos....

silver_ 9/17/2007 10:01:42 AM

"Nocturnal" will be out September 19. i wonder. btw awful review. i agree with the score but not the motives.

wardinator_ 9/17/2007 10:22:58 AM

miasma sucked. unhollowed and everything before was 'da bidness'. anyone that disagrees is wrong.

c,df_ 9/17/2007 11:09:30 AM

unhallowed was defintely more metalcore than miasma. you sure you didn't have the two confused?

shodan_ 9/17/2007 12:29:14 PM

I actually agree. Miasma was more of a metalcore influence album than Unhallowed. I like what I have heard from this one so far.

YouGotScanned_ 9/17/2007 12:30:32 PM

f*ck yeah! CASTLEVANIA 2 reference!!! bad ass dudes

Fur_Beach_ 9/17/2007 12:59:38 PM

i think this one is better than miasma.

goog god_ 9/17/2007 1:08:45 PM

Shit I wanted to see cory review this... This generic f*cking bullshit!!

dudeman_ 9/17/2007 9:46:04 PM

i have BDM's blood-splattered demo...who rules? i do.

m_ 9/17/2007 10:08:10 PM

at least this review has references to actual music. he's pretty spot-on when referring to these guys as 'accessible death metal.' i really don't dig much DM other than Nile and Suffocation, but i do love these guys.

anonymous 9/17/2007 11:18:42 PM

hahahahahahaha f*ck this shit band

anonymous 9/17/2007 11:18:43 PM

hahahahahahaha f*ck this shit band

Coley Thrash_ 9/18/2007 1:25:26 AM

At the Gates and Dissection are from from being Metal founders. At the Gates paved the way for a genre but that's the extent of that. Miasma was their worst effort and the solos were better in Unhallowed. This album is incredible and for the most part I agree with this review.

BigPenis_ 9/18/2007 1:37:00 AM

why does this band even f*cking bother writing new songs. why not just release the same album over and over again with different cover art. nobody who listens to this band would even notice or care. This band sucks a fat c-ck and don't really deserve any of the praise or success they have garnered over the years. Shit bands like BDM can apparently continue living, recording, touring, etc. off of shitty f*cking music and they don't even seem to realize how much better most bands are than them. Th

numberthree_ 9/18/2007 2:37:46 AM

I'm really having a hard time understanding why people are labeling BDM as metalcore or even mentioning the two together. Unhallowed was straight up death metal, and Miasma was definitely not metalcore either. Nocturnal is a f*cking amazing album and it features some of the best stuff BDM has put out. But seriously stop relating them to metalcore.

Stop defending them_ 9/18/2007 11:09:48 AM

they ARE metalcore

anonymous 9/18/2007 12:11:32 PM

Just waiting for retarded lambgoat reviewers to stop calling bdm melodic death metal. This is garbage, pure commercialistic shit. "Deathcore" is the only viable title for something like this.

anonymous 9/18/2007 1:12:49 PM

so is there breakdowns?? thats the only way I would ever consider labeling anything metalcore or deathcore.. hence the "core." as far as i was concerned, Unhallowed was straight up f*cking metal

metal elitists=virgins_ 9/18/2007 1:29:23 PM


shredlogic_ 9/18/2007 2:24:09 PM

That guitarist really needs to learn that scale exercises aren't solos, I'm glad that was mentioned.

Metal Mike_ 9/18/2007 3:18:16 PM

The term "accessible" shouldn't fit into any metal vocabulary. Words that come to mind when I hear this record are overproduced, uninspired, and unoriginal. But If I had to use one word to describe both this album, and Nick's music reviews it would be DISMISSIBLE. Bottom Line: Metal is supposed to be abrasive and hard on your senses. It shouldn't be recorded in some $100,000 studio and then polished with pro-tools. It should be recorded in a forest, a dungeon, Charles Manson's house or any p

littlemac_ 9/18/2007 3:47:09 PM

haha if it's pro tools it's not metal, what a gay

Nick_ 9/18/2007 3:49:55 PM

Metal Mike, I'm not sure we're friends anymore!

brett butler_ 9/18/2007 4:10:16 PM

the ongoing argument since this band's inception has been the following: "they suck" vs. "they're awesome." It incites a huge post riot every time the name is mentioned. So, whether you like them or hate them, they're more successful than you.

drewcifer_ 9/18/2007 4:58:40 PM

i used to hate on this band for the reasons that most people are giving in these comments (blah blah blah, commercial blah blah too slick wugghfasdj) but i heard this the other day and was slightly impressed. why the f*ck do people still expect metal to continually reinvent themselves? at the very least, give credit where credit is due: black dahlia murder are "extremely solid" when it comes to writing and performing the style of music they write and perform.

Nick_ 9/18/2007 5:35:50 PM

Drewcifer can always be counted on for a good bottom line. And this "metal shouldn't be accessible" argument is bogus. ATG, In Flames, Carcass' Heartwork-- all highly accessible, and yet they are still worshiped. If you're not into BDM, that's cool, but they're very competent at what they do, and most rational people should be able to agree with that.

anonymous 9/18/2007 9:09:16 PM

"BDM will always be in the musical shadows of metal founders At the Gates and Dissection". Are you f*cking kidding me? Write a review when you have a clue what the f*ck you're talking about. At the Gates nor Dissection "found metal". You're a gay for honestly thinking this band is even worth mention, and definately not a true fan of metal if for even a second you claim BDM is competent in any way.

xrybreadx_ 9/19/2007 2:51:03 PM

I haven't seen this many whiney gays in the same place at the same time since the time I accidently stumbled into the prescreening of the new harry potter movie. Album is good, I agree with the score. More thrashy than their prior effort, which is nice.

anonymous 9/19/2007 4:14:50 PM

enjoy your unlimited email updates from marinestuds, hotgaytwinks, and, rybread, you f*cking gay.

anonymous 9/19/2007 4:20:21 PM

^ holy lol

asdf_ 9/19/2007 5:49:45 PM


balls_rich_ 9/19/2007 6:52:01 PM

this cd is t-ts. Nocturnal is the best song on it.

fog_ 9/19/2007 7:59:33 PM

enjoy your unlimited email updates from marinestuds, hotgaytwinks, and, rybread, you f*cking gay. posted by () on 9/19/2007 4:14:50 PM LOL. shit band.

TheWood_ 9/19/2007 10:37:51 PM

I'm glad someone else got the Castlevania II reference.

Metalikane_ 9/20/2007 4:11:21 PM

Oh come on guys! The Black Dahlia murder are sooo supercalifragialista-core. This cd f*ckin rules. Who cares what cd is better anyway? They all kill! Quit being picky fans. If you think you can do it better then do it. 10/10

Kevin_ 9/20/2007 6:21:55 PM

Deathcore? Are you retarded? This doesn't have even remotely the same aesthetic and tacked-on bullshit of that genre. Like them or not, BDM are not a group of tight-pantsed emo kids who traded in their At The Gates records for Cannibal Corpse in hopes of riding the next short-lived wave of success. Just because Job For A Cowboy practically mimicked the vocals doesn't mean the bands are related. This really is just melodic death metal, and I'd love to hear an argument against it that actually has

anonymous 9/20/2007 8:13:42 PM

^^ get a clue you dumb piece of shit.

qmathdot_ 9/20/2007 8:48:19 PM

this album sounds like a c-ck getting thrown in a blender. f*ck this.

sredrosid_ 9/21/2007 3:27:06 PM

such a good f*cking album

piecemaker_ 9/21/2007 4:37:34 PM

you're all so f*cking stupid, does anyone on this site listen to music without worrying about what's politically correct according the unwritten book of the metal elitists? honestly i'm so disgusted with the fans of metal. it's a bunch of fat critical virgins and im sure i'll get some sucking die of aids f*cking gay comment for this. real mature.

dave_ 9/22/2007 11:51:32 AM

the best thing about all of this, is that while people sit at their computers and talk shit, tbdm is on tour doing things that most of you would sit at home and jack off about. but hey, sitting at home talking shit is almost as satisfying i'm sure, because at least then you don't actually have to go out into the world and prove you could do any better.

Chaosweaver_ 9/22/2007 2:01:57 PM

Better than Miasma, Worse than Unhallowed. But still a really solid metal cd.

anonymous 9/22/2007 2:30:41 PM

shit band, shit music, shit albums, shit comments from gays supporting another shit band. Clean your ears out, homof*cks.

william_ 9/22/2007 2:35:58 PM

terrible band. break up already, noise pollution is at an all time high.

anonymous 9/22/2007 2:36:50 PM

furious lol @ people taking this band seriously

chas_ 9/23/2007 2:45:41 PM

unhollowed is the only album they have worth listening to.

anonymous 9/24/2007 12:57:00 AM

terrible band

xthardingx_ 10/10/2007 4:48:44 PM

BDM has yet to release an alblum that dissapoints me. this one at very least deserves an 8!!!! unhallowed is most def their best work tho.

xSilencio_ 10/11/2007 2:37:21 AM

downhill since unhallowed.

J_ 10/16/2007 1:36:27 PM

Of course their not gonna put out something as good as unhallowed because all of us think of that album as their ticket into metal. Its hard to write music and try to make it more innovative and original without changing your style too much and making all the people that love your music shit on you

Black_Snook_ 11/5/2007 12:24:48 PM

Black Dahlia Murder are undoubtedly one of the best metal bands to be recording and performing at this time. Just listen to the music, miasma was a little bit of a let down but Nocturnal sure made up for it. You have to be straight up retarted or just plain ignorent to say the BDM sucks. There talent as individuals is mindblowing along with there talent as a band. All of you haters can just go crawl back to your MTV and keep listening to the bands they tell you to listen to. Also before y

Wulfgar_ 11/19/2007 5:39:43 PM

Overly produced and boring.

Obed_ 11/29/2007 9:08:34 PM

I hear more Carcass, ATG, Entombed than Dissection but whatever. Love these guys! Miasma was a touch weak but songs about murder and vampires are where it's at. right? haha.

bobwiley_ 8/1/2008 3:02:08 PM

"i hate christians. christianity sucks. well, maybe theyre okay. we're not satanists. well, maybe we are. satanism isnt about worshipping satan, its about being yourself. i'm smart because i know this." - trevor strnad

Jarrod_ 2/15/2009 11:35:23 PM

too good of a review, the older material is much better.

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anonymous 8/28/2014 8:44:49 PM

Does the track warborn have a guest vocals???? Please somebody respond this has been bugging me for quite some time:(