The Black Dahlia Murder
Detroit's the Black Dahlia Murder, named for the infamous 1947 slaying of Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, actually sounds like they should live in Scandinavia, the region of origin for much of the frenetic brand of blackened death metal that inspires them. Beginning with 2002's four-track A Cold-Blooded Epitaph EP, released on their own Lovelost Records, the band began making its mark on the global scene despite the fact they'd played relatively few gigs. After signing to Metal Blade in 2003, they issued their debut LP, Unhallowed, to acclaim in the metal press. 2007's Deflorate placed high on the U.S. album chart, and over the next 18 months, Black Dahlia Murder became a mainstay on festival stages across the United States and Europe as openers for Children of Bodom. 2010's Ritual proved a crucible that precipitated lineup changes and their first headlining tour for the Summer Slaughter festival tour after peaking at number 29 on the album chart. While 2013's Everblack became the band's most celebrated work to date, BDM's members weren't satisfied. They sought to take their songwriting to the next level, with lead vocalist and lyricist Strnad claiming that 2015's Abysmal offered "more dynamic and developed songs" than their previous work; fans appeared to agree, helping it score inside the top 50 on digital and physical charts in the U.S. and Germany. TBDM focused on economy for 2017's Nightbringers, showcasing the work of then-new lead guitarist Brandon Ellis in an uncharacteristically brief non-stop onslaught of aggression, hooks, and melodic leads. The Black Dahlia Murder formed in Waterford, Michigan, a suburb of Pontiac and Detroit. Its original members included vocalist Trevor Strnad, guitarists Brian Eschbach and Jon Kemppainen, bassist David Lock, and drummer Cory Grady. By the time they issued their initial demo, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse later that year, they were already making concert appearances (e.g., the Milwaukee Metal Fest). After another pair of demos and the four track A Cold-Blooded Epitaph, they signed with Metal Blade in 2003 and were soon recording their debut album, Unhallowed. The 2005 release Miasma and 2007's Nocturnal kept death metal as a core inspiration, though the band began exhibiting an increasingly melodic streak that came to fruition on 2009's brutal and majestic Deflorate. Their fifth studio album, Ritual, arrived in the summer of 2011. By 2012, only founding members Strnad and Eschbach remained in the lineup. The pair, along with lead guitarist Ryan Knight who'd joined in 2008, enlisted bassist Max Lavelle and drummer Alan Cassidy. 2013's Everblack was greeted with almost universal acclaim. After a year touring, the Black Dahlia Murder went back into the studio. They reenlisted producer Mark Lewis (who worked on 2011's Ritual) and former bass player Ryan Williams, who helped engineer Everblack. The band emerged with Abysmal, released in the fall of 2015, and followed it with a grueling schedule of touring for more than a year playing headline and festival support gigs across the United States and Europe. It took its toll. Later in the year, guitarist Knight amicably left the group and was replaced by Brandon Ellis (Arsis, ex-Cannibal Corpse). In 2017, TBDM commenced work on a new album with bandmembers working separately in different Metro Detroit-area studios with various engineers, including former bassist Williams and Joe Cincotta. In the end, Ellis emerged as an important new songwriter as well as a guitarist. The finished album, Nightbringers, was issued in October 2017 through Metal Blade. Three years later, the band returned with their ninth full-length effort, the punishing Verminous. Begun at Plymouth, Michigan's the Pipeyard studio by ex-bassist and studio guru Ryan "Bart" Williams, the bulk of the album was recorded in New Jersey at Ellis' home studio, the Shred Light District. It was mixed by Tue Madsen and mastered by Alan Douches. Produced by TBDM, Verminous offered the band a greater level of control over every facet of recording than ever before, enabling them to tweak and fine-tune small details right up until the point they sent it to Madsen in Denmark. The set was issued on April of 2020.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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