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THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
Unhallowed
(Metal Blade Records)
36:29min

Somehow I got the impression that recently the US Metal scene discovers the Swedish Metal style and I am not sure if that is a good or a bad development. Bands like ENFORSAKEN, IMPALED, ABOMINANT or now THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER obviously take their main influence from the Scandinavian gods like AT THE GATES, DISSECTION or UNANIMATED and mix it with elements of typical American Death Metal brutality or the British heroes CARCASS. Unfortunately this stylistic blending is not too new anymore and in case of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER's debut full-length does not exceed good mediocrity. Without any doubt "Unhallowed" is melodic, aggressive, driving and fast, but it is also very, very odd. The album is dominated by traditional AT THE GATES / THE HAUNTED-like riffs, screamed vocals that sometimes get accompanied by some growled parts, but only sounds interesting when the band leaves the trodden paths of Swedish-Melodic Death / Thrash and turns to sinister old school Death, which unfortunately happens only in one song - 'Thy Horror Cosmic'. In my opinion this direction should be extended on future releases, because it sounds a bit more brutal and original to me. Something I meanwhile start to wonder about is, why American bands do not take influence from their own glorious Thrash-history and include elements of Bay Area Thrash into their sound, that would be something cool, the Scandinavian sound has been totally exhausted!!! For more information check out www.oddshaped.com/blackdahliamurder/ or www.metalblade.com.

Stefan Franke

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