Think of a death metal band this side of the year 2000 and I can guarantee none will match the pure brutality of The Black Dahlia Murder. Bands such as Carcass and At The Gates have sung huge praise for them, and for good reason too. Their pure strength and their pure sense of brutality is enough to take the Pepsi Challenge with any of their peers, and this album proves no such exception.
This album isn’t just pure intensity, however, as it takes in a much wider array of qualities. Riffs that bands like Iron Maiden and Accept wish they’d written are scattered all throughout this album, and for a style such as melodic death metal to do this so well is not only acceptable, it’s exceptional. Its drumming including an almost hardcore style blast beat is also welcomed. Trevor Strnad gives such a passionate and deliverance upon his vocals that you can almost get into and believe in half of what he’s saying (though most of it, as per usual, is very fictional horror based inspired).
Though this is a death metal album, at no point does this album become overbearing or boring, it runs at just over 35 minutes, and an album in this genre tends to do better when it isn’t too long. It’s also highly acceptable for such a heavy band. If you’re a fan of Slipknot, Machine Head, or Lamb Of God then there’s no reason as to why this album wouldn’t appeal to you.
The best song on this album has to be ‘Stygiographic’. It puts you into a Saw movie for 90 seconds; nothing but a cold dripping room is heard, and you can feel the sense of deep horror from this track. To just take you out of this with a heavy beat of a drum is so fucking heavy and brutal that it makes you just want to headbang in your own room. The fact that Strnad is talking about his own personal hell and having a back and forth way of singing makes you think that you’re in the room with an insane psychopath. This creates such a picture within your mind and makes you think of such an intense story.
Finally, to end this all with a fade only for the drums from the next song ‘Asylum’ to kick you back into a fast-paced gear only goes to show how much the band have thought about continuity on this album. All in all, ‘Abysmal’ is a solid album. The music flows great together, and it provides such an enjoyable experience for you as the listener to go along for the ride with the piece.
Written by Bradley Cassidy (@bradcassidy170)