12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With their fifth studio album, the Black Dahlia Murder return to working with producer Mark Lewis who lent his studio wizardry to the band’s previous album, 2009’s Deflorate. Opening song “A Shrine to Madness” begins with a moment of classical music before an explosion of tightly wound guitar riffs tries to keep up with rapid-fire drumming while Strnad screams and howls like a man possessed by an entire underworld of demons. In the aptly titled “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood,” his pained guttural growls sound as if he’s about to upchuck his vital organs. The relentless rhythms that jackhammer away at “Window” nearly upstage Strnad’s schizophrenic duality — half of the song has him gurgling the genre’s requisite vocals while he performs the other half with high-pitched shrieks that come across like Linda Blair’s more harrowing moments in The Exorcist. Fans who found newcomer Ryan Knight’s guitar work impressive on Deflorate, are in for a treat here, especially in “The Raven.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

With their fifth studio album, the Black Dahlia Murder return to working with producer Mark Lewis who lent his studio wizardry to the band’s previous album, 2009’s Deflorate. Opening song “A Shrine to Madness” begins with a moment of classical music before an explosion of tightly wound guitar riffs tries to keep up with rapid-fire drumming while Strnad screams and howls like a man possessed by an entire underworld of demons. In the aptly titled “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood,” his pained guttural growls sound as if he’s about to upchuck his vital organs. The relentless rhythms that jackhammer away at “Window” nearly upstage Strnad’s schizophrenic duality — half of the song has him gurgling the genre’s requisite vocals while he performs the other half with high-pitched shrieks that come across like Linda Blair’s more harrowing moments in The Exorcist. Fans who found newcomer Ryan Knight’s guitar work impressive on Deflorate, are in for a treat here, especially in “The Raven.”

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