The Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual album review

It is undisputed truth that metal is not for everybody. Many music fans snub metal, considering it a talentless and exceedingly abrasive version of punk music. Most people can only get on board with Metallica. Nowadays there are so many kinds of metal. Metal for dummies, metal for sadists, metal for teenagers (not real metal) and then there’s metal for metalheads. Metal for the semi-common fan. Metal that pulsates down your spine like god slid an ice cube along your backbone.

The Black Dahlia Murder are a death metal band and Ritual is their fifth album. Remember those moms that protested Kiss back in the day? They would spontaneously combust or drop dead upon hearing this music, which would probably reinforce their suspicions that this is in fact the devil’s music, if only they lived to prove it.

I wonder if the cops are having trouble ridding certain areas of hippies? Blasting BDM’s Ritual into the woods, featuring Trevor Strnad’s insanely terrorizing scream, is a surefire way to send their tobacco-rolling, mushroom-gathering, organic-chocolate-eating asses packing.

The guitars are strong and fast like a marathon runner, but something is missing here, heart. Some might consider “Carbonized in Cruciform” or “The Raven” to be beautifully horror-filled candies sprinkled with melodic wonder. I think to myself, I can hardly tell “Great Burning Nullifier” apart from “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood.” Is the yelling different? Are the drums? Should I have to strain this hard to discern a separation? I’m all for songs blending together well, but I feel old and weary listening to this.

Hardcore Metal fanboys rejoice! The 80 year old woman who sometimes possesses my body and ears in particular, cannot handle this. The titles are thrilling and I’m sure “Moonlight Equilibrium” is just epic when you’re in the right mood. But I’m not in the mood to get my feet stepped on in a mosh pit or sacrifice depressed farm animals. I will confirm one thing, Ritual does pulsate through your core like an ungodly ice cube creeping along your backbone. For the less crazed population, a suggested dive into metal might be something more along the lines of Five Finger Death Punch or Mastodon.

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