You're not going to get anything new here on the latest from The Black Dahlia Murder. Nocturnal is chock full of their brand of maniacal, melodic thrash & death metal. On their third release, the Detroit crew pull out all the stops, bombarding the listener with even more razor sharp riffs, pummeling drum work, and insane vocals growls & screams. Sounds like a familiar formula? Well certainly, this is Black Dahlia Murder for crying out loud! Honestly, we can't really expect any dramatic divergence from these guys, but what they do they do so well, and so many young bands coming out of the woodwork have tried to mimic every move they have made over their short career. Non-stop touring has really honed their chops, as Nocturnal contains some fantastic riff-o-rama from Brian Eschbach & lightning leads courtesy of guitar hero John Kempainen. Let's not forget the sledgehammer drum blasts from Shannon Lucas and the pulverizing bass grooves from Ryan Williams. Lead shouter Trevor Strnad once again peels the walls with his array of growls and screams, reminding of some of the great melodic death metal singers from the early 90's Gothenburg scene. Tracks like "Virally Yours", the title track, and "To a Breathless Oblivion" are just three examples of relentless extreme metal, busy as all hell with rampaging riffs, flailing drums, and insane vocal embellishments. The lyrical content once again deals with horror themes, which Strnad perfectly conveys all the gory details to the listener.
Some might find Nocturnal a tad predictible, and perhaps it is, but damn if these hotshots don't slay the competition and thunder along at a frantic & impressive pace here on these intense 35 minutes. The Black Dahlia Murder are only building their chops with each passing year and tour, and once they decide to really settle in and try something different, we might realize just how great they really are. For now, Nocturnal is a powerhouse that might not set the world on fire as far as originality goes, but it's kick ass extreme metal nontheless.
1. Everything Went Black
2. What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
3. Virally Yours
4. I Worship Only What You Bleed
6. Deathmask Divine
7. Of Darkness Spawned
8. Climactic Degradation
9. To a Breathless Oblivion