The Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual (2011)

Sitting at an affordable $6.99 for the mp3 album from Amazon.com, I encourage blaspheming fans of metal to check out The Black Dahlia Murder’s Ritual. I’ve been sitting on this purchase for a while (I downloaded the purchase in September 2011), but think it needs a proper review in light of this resurrected Nao Me Diga Ezine blog. I purchase this in support of the band after they received some ridiculous press in regards to some crime.

1. A Shrine to Madness – Opens with a black metal symphonic haunting that slams into a full sonic assault on your ears. (You know it is required that you listen to loud, right?) The title grabs me since that what I feel like my whole life is right now.
2. Moonlight Equilibrium – Speed is the name of the game here, with rolling riffs and drums – like a spray of a machine gun and the run from the scene of the massacre.
3. On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood – Use of the lower register that rattles your rib case and other parts of your core. A slower pace, but still brutal.
4. Conspiring with the Damned – We get slammed back into the fast lane with the hammer down and the accurate double kick work, but still with melodic overtones in the guitar work. The bridge slows you down with a ritualistic sound.
5. The Window – My head can’t stop moving when this song is on. Bridge guitar solo, passionate. The most sensual track so far of the album.
6. Carbonized in Cruciform – Intense song. Piano work at the end, brings you back down.
7. Den of Picquerist – A bit of a different sound. Shortest track, clocking in at 1:30.
8. Malenchanments of the Necrosphere – The song title is a mouthful. Growling vocals and chugga chugga guitar work mark this song, until the bridge where there is a soaring guitar that could be influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan or Yngwie Malmsteem. Second half of the song is not as chugga chugga as the first half, right off the solo, but then we come full circle into that style that marked the opening segments.
9. A Grave Robber’s Work – Title conjures up images of some very rapid digging in order to not be caught. Why can I envision an almost comical video to this song? You know like that Iron Maiden video for “Run for the Hills” with the sped up imagery from the old black and white Westerns.
10. The Raven – Head rolling, hair swinging, as the bird herself soars through the night air.
11. Great Burning Nullifier – Intense, brutal. But nothing outstanding on this track. However, chorus may have been the inspiration for the album title.
12. Blood in the Ink – Death crosses to black with the symphonic work in this one – violins – haunting. This may be one of my favorite tracks of the album. A fitting end – “suicide is the only way out” – unless of course you just don’t listen to the CD. But I encourage you to, not suicide, but listening to/ buy this album.

Final comments – as with all bands – sometimes you have to be in the right mood to full appreciate what they are and are capable off. The album is well mixed. The growling vocals are almost discernible enough with better listening equipment (like high end headphones) I could make out lyrics. I do not have the benefit of a lyric sheet since this is a download. Nor do I know if a lyrics were included in the liner notes in the physical CD version.
5 out of 5 PBR Pint Rating
Listening notes: Lenovo R61e laptop hooked up to Altec Lansing speakers – of which I think I need new ones now since one sounds blown.

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About Kirsten Tautfest

Writer. I've done a lot of living in almost 40 years. My first two self-published books in print/Kindle are what I have termed serial soccer fiction. Red Tales is based around a professional soccer team, set in 1998 their inaugural year, and traces the lives of the players, staff, and fans and how they all intertwine and collide for better or for worse.
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