In 2001, the world was introduced to the melodic death metal giants The Black
Dahlia Murder. The Black Dahlia Murder
has gained their reputation of creating of the best melodic death metal the world has to offer which has appealed to fans all over world. They are one of the only bands out there today who is respected by both “core” and death metal fans all over the world (there has been a lot of fighting between the two). This is probably what made their music so successful because they weren’t just another band, they weren’t trying to make the most brutal and the most technical melodic death metal out there. They just wanted to made good music, which I think they have done in the past albums have done, and have done well at that. But, has Ritual
followed in the same suit?
I think that the landmark in The Black
Dalia Murder’s career was their album Nocturnal
. This was the time when they had a sound which really sucked the audience in, and what I think is responsible for the bands success. I’m just going walk out and say it right away, that if you enjoyed Nocturnal
, you are bound to enjoy Ritual
. Not that much has changed since then, the vocals and the some of the guitar riffs sound very similar and The Black Dahlia Murder
definitely gives off the same “vibe” in Ritual
and in Nocturnal
. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a Nocturnal
clone, there are plenty of aspects in Ritual
that make this exciting enough to listen to without the music sounding like a blast from the past.
For what it’s worth, I think that Ritual
might just be a slightly better album than Nocturnal
? because in Ritual
, The Black
Dahlia have focused more on their song writing and structure than in Nocturnal
. I think that the music flows much, much better in Ritual
than in their previous albums. I think this is mainly down to the change in guitar work. In previous albums, they have utilized more death metalish guitars which have slowed the music right down, making it less tight and sometimes the momentum of the music isn’t as built up as much as I could have hoped. Yes, there are still some of those brutal death slam style of riffs featured in Ritual
but they aren’t used to the same extent (with the exception of the track Malenchantments of the Necrosphere
, the guitars sounds very death/slamish). Instead, the guitarists have implemented more melodic death metal and even some progressive death metal style of guitar work and everyone knows that both melodic and progressive death metal flows better than brutal death/slam. The result of this, is that I reckon that the music is 10x as better and have added extra dimensions to the music which we have never seen before, which gives us even more of an excuse to listen to this album.
Just because they have taken a more melodic approach to their music this time round, doesn’t mean that they don’t pack the same punch in their music as they did in the past. Ritual
is just as powerful in both the “brutalness” and “uplifting” departments in comparison with The Black Dahlia Murder
’s previous works. Like I’ve mentioned before, Ritual
still has some elements of brutal death/slam and once again, this is shown by the guitar work. There are sections throughout Ritual
where there are some typical death/slam riffs and even some breakdowns. What I like about the way The Black Dahlia Murder
have done it here is that just by listening to these sections that they aren’t trying to be the most heavy or the most brutal band eva. There is absolutely, 100% no chugging going on anywhere throughout Ritual
which is good news for those anti-chugging elitists out there. Another thing is that even the heavy parts in Ritual
don’t slow the momentum of the music. It just keeps on pushing and pushing.
Yeah, the guitar work and musical structure of Ritual
or The Black Dahlia Murder
’s music in general is nice, but I don’t think that’s was highlights the band’s music. I think that the thing that has impressed me and others like me is definitely the blast beats. Holy shit, the blast beats are awesome. No, they aren’t the fastest, but you don’t need to create the fastest blast beats to make them the best because remember, speed isn’t everything. But that being said, The Black Dahlia Murder
’s blast beats do have speed but most importantly they have potency as well. This “potency” of the blast beats is definitely shown off in Ritual
and the blast beats and used a lot throughout the album. I don’t know about you, but I just cannot get enough of them, they are just sound so good and they are definitely one of the best I’ve ever heard. I think that the blast beats in Ritual
just wrap the music up, is the icing on the cake, the leather on the dashboard, it just makes the experience a whole lot better than if it wasn’t as good or wasn’t present at all.
The finial thing to mention about the music in Ritual
and it’s something that has made the album much more worthwhile is the presence of guitar solos. It’s almost impossible to think of any good melodic death metal (or progressive death) band that has an absence of decent guitar solos. I can tell you right now that they haven’t gone slack on them in Ritual
. You’d expect a band like The Black Dahlia Murder
have guitar solos which lack any real structure and are extremely fast, technical and hard to copy. But nope, the ones in Ritual
are extremely uplifting and powerful, like they should be. They tend to utilize fast (well, relatively fast) and slower guitar solos and I think that it emphasises the music farther… which can only be a good thing. Not only does it do this, the uplifting powerful style of the solos make the music sound deeper and adds more character to it.
Overall, I think that Ritual
is The Black Dahlia Murder
’s best album in their series so far. They have really gone the extra mile this time to ensure that their music is the best it can be. Ritual
has much more to offer than its predecessors, there are awesome guitar riffs, kickass guitar solos, uplifting and darker atmosphere and a smooth flowing musical structure. The Black Dahlia Murder
is one of the only bands that I know of that do well in both fast paced and slower paced songs. It’s the sheer flexibility of the band that has earned them their success in the music industry. It’s no wonder why so many people like these guys, because they're awesome.
I recommend Ritual
to anyone who is even remotely into; The Black Dahlia Murder
’s previous albums, melodic and progressive death metal and blast beats in general. For those who are into the melodious wonders that the band has to offer you cannot go past the track Moonlight Equilibrium
, the more technically adventurous fans should check out Carbonized
. Although Carbonized
starts off slightly slow, it’s probably the most technical track in the album. And
finally, for those who are looking to break their neck with Ritual
’s heaviness, take a look at the track Malenchantments of the Necrosphere
. Overall, I think that Ritual
is one hell of an album that shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone. I give The Black Dahlia Murder