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Black Dahlia Murder, The: Miasma

On The Black Dahlia Murder's second release Miasma, the band takes the aggressive approach they started on 2003's Unhallowed one step further, losing most of their hardcore influences in favor of a purely melodic death metal sound that instantly brings to mind bands like At the Gates, In Flames, and Carcass. While Miasma is way too short in my opinion (barely over 30 minutes), it is quite effecting in coming in, kicking you on your ass, and making an exit. The vocals of Trevor Strnad are straight from the Swedish school of death metal, blood curdling mixtures of high pitched wailings and lower level growling. The dual guitar attack and the relentless drum barrage though is really what stands out here, and considering the average age of this band is barely above 20 makes the music of Miasma all the more amazing. The complex and fluid lead work of John Kempainen works perfectly with the razor sharp riffs from Brian Eschbach, as the two add thunderous guitar onslaught to tracks like the opening instrumental "Built for Sin", the rampaging technical death metal of "I'm Charming", and the melodic title track. The bands penchant for horror drenched lyrics show up on "A Vulgar Picture", as well as "Dave Goes to Hollywood", two real brutal numbers, and the tricky guitar riffs of "Flies" weave and twist around each other in a furiously complex display of technical precision. Another great example of relentless and punishing barrage of death metal riffery can be heard on "Novelty Crosses", one of the CD's longer pieces (at just under 4 minutes!), and just too catchy and pulverizing for words.

Considering how young this band is, it's easy to predict that great things are still ahead for the The Black Dahlia Murder. Miasma has all the elements of a great extreme metal record, and hopefully on their next release they will expand their songwriting a little and give their fans a little something extra. 33 minutes seems a little like a teaser, but it's a damn good one nontheless. One classic album keeps coming to mind that rampaged as hard for a brief amount of recorded time, and that was Slayer's Reign in Blood. Whether Miasma eventually ranks up with that all-time fan favorite remains to be seen, but it will certainly rank high on the list of Best Releases of 2005 for sure.

Track Listing
1. Built For Sin
2. I'm Charming
3. Flies
4. Statutory Ape
5. A Vulgar Picture
6. Novelty Crosses
7. Dave Goes To Hollywood
8. Miscarriage
9. Spite Suicide
10. Miasma

Added: August 14th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2728
Language: english

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