Masters of Melodic Death Metal
In today’s musical landscape there is a great deal of disconnection from the classical arrangements that have persisted through centuries, with a few subtle exceptions. The melodic death metal bands of today are very much the exception in this case, with heavy reliance on the natural and harmonic minor scales to add a more sinister atmosphere The Black Dahlia Murder hammers this fact home with their eighth release Nightbringers.
From the opening track, “Widowmaker” on, the band once again demonstrates why they are at the top of the genre and have been since the turn of the century. The gradual crescendo and integration of instruments from a lone guitar into a full frenzy sets up for an explosive first track that blasts off along with the introduction of Trevor Strnad’s vocals at the 40-second mark and doesn’t relent any amount whatsoever through the rest of the album. Though a masterful performance as a whole, Alan Cassidy’s drumming and Brandon Ellis’ lead guitar work stand a step above and do a great job of driving the album with the many excellent guitar solos such as on the title track “Nightbringers” just after the two minute mark and consistent doses of amazement on the drums serving as the heart that beats through the 33 minutes of jaw-dropping action.
There is nothing bad to be found on Nightbringers from the perspective of a perennial melodic death metal fanatic and yet another home run brought forth into the world by Metal Blade records this year. The sinister guitar sound with its classical feel, coupled with outstanding drumming and a powerful vocalist make for an intense but incredibly short lived album, but such is to be expected from a band that consistently puts forth immense effort into their songwriting and live performances such as The Black Dahlia Murder.