Well lads, it’s been 2 years so that means it’s about time for a new the Black Dahlia Murder album. After just about 16 years in the game these Detroit fiends have kept that routine up for every new release. Not only have they kept up a steady release schedule, but their music has sounded just as routine with every release, and Nightbringers is no different.
If you’ve heard one Black Dahlia Murder album it’s safe to assume you know exactly what this album is going to offer you. Blast beat drumming, vocalist Trevor Strnad’s untouchable gutturals, melodic riffs and insane guitar solos. That’s exactly what this album is.
The riffs here are tasty, heavy, and they force you to headbang with them. I think the one that most sticks out to me is the lead riff to the title track, “Nightbringers.” It opens the track with melody, but sounds dark as hell and leads smoothly into the main verse riff of melody and palm muting. It’s masterfully written and executed on the part of guitar players Ryan Knight and Brian Eschbach. A killer track, to be sure.
The band has always had a revolving door of drummers, sadly. They just can never seem to hold one down for very long. For my money I’ve always contested Shannon Lucas was their best drummer for his work on 2007’s Nocturnal, but current drummer Alan Cassidy does a phenomenal job on this album. His fills are creative and necessary, his blast beats are insane, and he carries the tunes on his back. So while my heart will always yearn for more Shannon Lucas, Cassidy is a great artist and I salute him.
So what do I think of this album? I think it’s a good, fun death metal ride. This band’s biggest problem is that they’ve always stuck to the same sound. It leads to nothing but good albums, mind you, but very few great releases. I think of their entire catalog, I only find two to be truly great: the aforementioned Nocturnal and 2013’s Everblack. This album isn’t great, but it is fun, and a fine addition to their discography.
I once read somewhere; I can’t recall where, that Black Dahlia Murder is this generation’s Cannibal Corpse. That made me feel ridiculously old as I’ve been listening to these guys since 2003. But at the same time, it made a lot of sense. They’re undoubtedly the kingpins of the current crop of melodic death metal bands, and you can hear their influence spread across just about every new band that comes up in the death metal scene. Such an accolade couldn’t be placed on a better and more consistent band.
I give Nightbringers a 3.5/5.
Check out the title track here.