The Black Dahlia Murder - Nightbringers album review
Michigan’s melodeath masters hit new heights
Eight albums into an imposingly consistent career that’s seen the band gut At The Gates’ Gothenburg sound with a rusty chainsaw and corrupt its corpse with all manner of extreme influences, the Michigan vets are now mentioned in the same breath as the legends of the genre. Their fanatical devotion to the death metal spectrum makes it difficult to find anything at fault with either their attitude or output, with 2015’s Abysmal still being a formidable slab of frothing melodic death metal, even if it didn’t quite have the staying power of the stunning Everblack and Ritual. It’s no surprise, then, that Nightbringers slays from stringent opener Widowmaker onwards. The first half of the album is vintage Black Dahlia, all flailing drums and piercing riffs that stab and slash in lightning attacks, bolstered by Trevor Strnad’s hellish screams and ugly growls that infuse the likes of Jars and the title track with a ghoulish edge. As good as the initial surge is, the final four songs are arguably the pinnacle of the band’s output. Brian Eschbach and Brandon Ellis flex their muscles on Kings Of The Nightworld’s infectious riffs and imperious leads, Catacomb Hecatomb’s regal motif and punchy chorus are deliriously catchy while the searing opening of As Good As Dead gives way to vociferous groove and Trevor’s macabre humour. The masterful twin guitars and pummelling drums of The Lonely Deceased end this 33-minute blast of scintillating modern metal in wicked fashion.