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The Black Dahlia Murder Deflorate

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The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate
01. Black Valor
02. Necropolis
03. A Selection Unnatural
04. Denounced, Disgraced
05. Christ Deformed
06. Death Panorama
07. Throne of Lunacy
08. Eyes of Thousand
09. That Which Erodes the Most Tender
10. I Will Return
Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 10/23/2009

Simply put, Deflorate is the result of The Black Dahlia Murder being more fine-tuned and more technically capable than at any other period in their career. Unhallowed will always be the cult favorite, Miasma the slight misstep, and Nocturnal the strong move back in the right direction. Deflorate, for all intents and purposes, is a more refined version of Nocturnal -- not astoundingly different in vision and songwriting, but merely tweaked a bit in the direction of perfection.

The main reason behind this fine-tuning is a quite notable personnel change in the BDM camp. Ex-Arsis guitarist Ryan Knight has joined the group and single-handedly taken care of the band's greatest area of need: solo quality. Although it never blatantly stuck out on earlier releases, when the band locked down its strongest-ever rhythm section on Nocturnal, the aptitude for solos became a glaring limitation. Knight's stellar fret board acrobatics have all but silenced any qualms in that area, especially with blazing runs in tracks like "Throne of Lunacy" and "Denounced, Disgraced." Equal parts technical and melodic, his blend of memorable lines and speed is much appreciated.

But the odd part about the upgrade is that even though Deflorate sounds like it should be an obvious selection for the band's best on paper, it lacks the unforgettable punch needed to attain such a label. In many ways, it leaves a similar feel to Arsis' latest, We Are the Nightmare -- the blisteringly technical instrumentation was flat-out impressive, but in the end, A Celebration of Guilt still feels like the band's go-to release.

Is it hypocritical to praise a band for achieving such a fine-tuned, technically impressive sound, but also note that a few intangibles (a memorable aftertaste, standout tracks, etc.) are missing Your opinions on that deeper philosophical argument will likely determine your stance of Deflorate. If you're looking for evidence of a band performing at a higher technical level (in all areas of their sound) than ever before, this record will easily fulfill that desire. But if you're looking for the next memorable step in BDM's career in the form of an organic progression of sorts, Deflorate's closer resemblance to a revamped version of Nocturnal rather than its own entity will get in the way of that end result. But one thing is unlikely to be debated: this band has earned their death metal chops and has no difficulty in showcasing them.

Bottom Line: The Black Dahlia Murder's Deflorate is without a doubt their most technically impressive record to date. A large chunk of this recognition goes to their addition of ex-Arsis guitarist Ryan Knight to the fold, resulting reaching in a level of soloing excellence that was never present on the band's previous work. There may be a few intangibles missing that are needed for this to be instantly memorable, but it is solid on all fronts and definitely worthy of a listen.

Comments
anonymous   posted 2/19/2010 6:02:06 AM
guitar work improved, cd's still shit though
someone_   posted 11/17/2009 4:05:10 PM
Ryan Knight was an awesome addition, seeing how that other guy couldnt f*cking leave that SAME SCALE EVERY SOLO... ass.

Miasma deff did better then deflorate, a lot better. i love this band... but Deflorate prob should have gotten like a 6...
upyours_   posted 11/15/2009 3:16:08 AM
f*ck bdm.ryan shoould've stayed in arsis.
heeeeydude_   posted 11/10/2009 5:14:31 PM
Seriously, took the words right out of my mouth. TIGHT AS f*ck AND BUT NOTHING MEMORABLE!!
fuck off_   posted 10/30/2009 7:36:31 PM
good review...hit the nail on the head IMHO.

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