The NWOAHM/Metalcore movement of the first decade of 2000s, started as an effort to blend the groove of Pantera, the melodic chops of At The Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and the aggression of old school Thrash metal. Once it got cleared of the wimpy posers who overpopulated the genre (and every genre during its humble beginnings), the ones who deserved it remain to this day and deliver great modern metal. Bands like Killswitch Engage, Unearth, Shadows Fall, Chimaira, Lamb Of God and a band that showed more keen on making modern melodic Death metal, The Black Dahlia Murder. With their first albums “Unhallowed” and “Miasmal” they showed their love for blastbeat-flavored melodic Death metal, and have tried to create their own identity and mature as time (and records) went by.

Currently on their seventh album “Abysmal” released a few days ago, kicking in full speed with “Receipt” and “Vlad, Son Of The Dragon” in the trademark Black Dahlia Murder style, yet somehow more technical, more atmospheric, more mature, improved and always sounding fresh. Then the title track comes to break the full-speed tempo with the chorus and the following solos that would make James Murphy proud of his legacy! “Re-faced” brings more groove into the speed-ahead sound of the band, in the chorus that is, then a beatdown part turning into one more top notch solo. “Threat Level No 3” keeps up the tempo while adding more old school Death metal influence.

A darker intro follows with “The Fog” reminding of early At The Gates, before blasting its way throughout the song, including the ever so addictive melodies of the band. An eerie sample comes up next, on the slowest number of the record “Stygiophobic” starting in an almost Doom/Death manner, and showing us what they can do at lowest tempos, with a fade out solo. “Asylum” brings back the tempo with its almost Swedish Death metal riffage, breaking into a melodic chorus. “The Advent” is a bit slower even though it has its fast breaks, making it an ideal headbanger with a keyboard-flavored chorus that In Flames would kill for. “That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead” is the darkest track of the record, with mostly slower riffage and some small fast breaks, great solos and lots of Black metal influences. One of the most varied tracks to end the record.

Black Dahlia Murder, another band that keeps on making great records, building their own sound step by step. And “Abysmal” is a prime example of that. HORNS UP!

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