Nightbringers, the eighth studio album from The Black Dahlia Murder, is melodic and striking, short and to the point, not hanging on with excessive long pieces, which the band’s music was never meant to be. Songs are mostly constructed upon the intricate layers of melodic guitar, empowered by tones and tones of rhythm and solo guitar harmonies which once again will lead the listeners to confront massive pieces of maniac guitar symphonies. They can be heard in songs like “Jars,” “Kings of the Nightworld” and “Catacomb Hecatomb.”
Nightbringers’ first single and opener “Widowmaker” reminds me of TBDM’s classic album openers such as “Everything Went Black” and “Black Valor,” while the album closer “The Lonely Deceased” resembles Deflorate’s “I Will Return.” TBDM once again play with familiar musical ideas, continuing with Gothenburg inspired melodic death metal. However, in addition to melodic death metal, hyper dynamism along with hiring and working with technical musicians have infused their music with technical death metal on recent albums.
It’s impossible to talk about TBDM and not mention the numerous lineup changes in their career. Nightbringers sees Brandon Ellis’ first collaboration with TBDM as the band’s new guitarist, and they don’t miss a beat. Skillful and sensational on what he’s doing with his instrument, Ellis is as great as Ryan Knight, who was definitely the best guitarist TBDM ever had.
Beside all the brilliant guitar work by Brian Eschbach and Ellis in Nightbringers, Alan Cassidy’s astounding drumming and Max Lavelle’s powerful bass lines transcend the energy of the album, along with Trevor Strnad’s wicked growls and screams. Legendary Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin’s artwork completes the portrait of the music, capturing the classic grotesque vision of Wåhlin with a dark and menacing nature.
Nightbringers is absolutely one of The Black Dahlia Murder’s best albums to date. It’s perfectly executed and produced melodic death metal, extreme music that’s both catchy and hard hitting.
(released October 6, 2017 on Metal Blade Records)