Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Metal Blade
I have been following The Black Dahlia Murder since Unhallowed and they have yet to truly disappoint me (they came close with Deflorate). Sure, I can go on for ages about Miasma is their best album to date just to despite the nay-sayers, but that’s not what we’re all here for, is it? We’re here for Ritual.
As soon as the atmospheric swell at the beginning of album opener, A Shrine To Madness finished and the band ripped to life, I had to make sure that I was on the right page. I thought I stumbled back onto Job For A Cowboy’s page and I was listening to Gloom again. But after a few seconds, all was right in the world. I was seriously afraid that The Black Dahlia Murder was going to revert to a simple deathcore band for some unknown reason. Thankfully, this is not entirely the case.
Vocalist Trevor Strnad ditches his goblinish screeches ion favor for his superior growls for most of the album. In case you can’t tell, I’m all in favor of this. Long time guitarist Brian Eschbach must not sleep much. I come to this conclusion based solely on the fact that he has consistently for the past eight years continued to astound me with his ability to write masterfully melodic pieces that simultaneously light me ablaze with scorching awesome! Pick a track at random and it’ll be the best work of his career. Guaranteed.
There is one thing however, that I must point out: the deathcore element. Yeah, it kinda sucks. There is a tiny one here and it’s more noticeable than in previous releases. Songs like Moonlight Equilibrium and Conspiring With The Damned have a bit of a forced catchiness to them that almost feels like a reach for a broader audience… do they really need one? I don’t know. It might just be me looking for a flaw that isn’t there. Truth be told, it is completely forgivable and only really puts a tiny black mark on an otherwise stellar album.
Overall: So close to being a perfect album it’s painful! Forget what I said in the opening of this review, Ritual is The Black Dahlia Murder’s best album to date!
The Black Dahlia Murder Official
The Black Dahlia Murder On Facebook
The Black Dahlia Murder On MySpace