Though being an American death metal band that has entrenched itself on the Billboard charts is an impressive enough feat in and of itself, perhaps the most impressive trick the Black Dahlia Murder have pulled off is that they have accomplished this while actually getting better. On Everblack, their furious sixth album, they continue to refine their hybrid sound, combining the melody and technicality of melodic death metal with the savage brutality of their homeland's domestic death metal offerings. Add a touch of thrash's relentlessness and the listener is presented with a thrilling and visceral sound that's capable of being cathartic without sacrificing musicianship, avoiding cheap tricks like endless strings of breakdowns.
I deliberately went in cold to my first Black Dhalia Murder experience. I drew a chalk circle on the concrete floor of my basement and, as I mumbled through a spell of ancient words and throat-singing (why not?), the vapour rose from my mouth and swirled into vines and sharp spires before taking the ghostly shape of the new disc by the Black Dhalia Murder, Into the Everblack. I had conjured up one hell of a fast metal record, as it turns out, and one which refreshingly comes right to the point.
The Black Dahlia Murder have always been a consistent group. However, in the past, that consistency was their downfall, as the uniform nature of the material wasn't just in its quality, but also its sound. Listening to their albums changed from a vicious experience to a viscous one, forcing one to plod through a record of similar-sounding songs to find the gems.