By Professor Jocko

With the high expectations of their sixth studio album, there was no telling whether the American death metal thrashers would attempt to return to their heavier, traditional death metal roots or proceed on with their ambitious melodic ways. This is the first album to feature new drummer Alan Cassidy, who replaced Shannon Lucas, and new bassist Max Lavelle, who replaced Ryan "Bart" Williams. Their presence has helped in making this a masterpiece of technical, progressive thrash! Imagine the precision and brutality of Dark Angel with the angular, progressive punch of Gojira. "Everblack" is a surprisingly flawless piece, having almost no weak moments, which excels at constant variation, wonderful riffs and well-timed dynamics to give the listener a breather now and then. I didn’t think it could happen, but BDM has proved once again that they can take themselves to a whole new level of musical ferocity. One of the more noticeable elements I have to point out in this newest album is the use of guitar solos; I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve ever heard distinct guitar solos as well as the beautifully written rhythmic patterns. This new addition really adds a whole new dimension to the material and helps separate this album from previous material.

As the follow-up to the highly praised "Ritual", "Everblack" is an album with an intricate, wicked percussive section as the driving force, pushing boundaries even more this time around, especially on tracks such as “Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn” and “Blood Mine”. In truth, BDM has created an album that might be hard for them to perfect upon. Granted, they haven’t deviated from their original formula, but their crunching metal hits closer to home with this album than on any previous release, making you want to thrash violently and head-bang to the infectious chaos that unfolds with each fresh listen.

As you make your way through the album, “Their Beloved Absentee” is perhaps one of the best hidden gems, building upon their brutal and melodic death metal persona. Just as you would expect, this track delivers monster drum fills, with times when the listener may feel sated of crunching riffs, but the occasional melodic bits add the perfect relief. These moments are also furthered in “Map of Scars” with heavy, chugging guitar riffs supported by a melodically out-bursting chorus, which brings up another good point for this album, which are Trevor Strnads vocals. The track titles “Every Rope a Noose” is just absolute brutality; that’s all there is to it. This is a song that really continues the true powerful style of Black Dahlia Murder that seems to utilize the well placed guitar solos that complement the lyrics.

There are a few areas throughout the album where the vocals are a bit overdone, but they are nonetheless only minor inconveniences when you consider the guitar solos and supporting rhythm section. This is probably where I would like to see more of the bass guitar stand out a little more in addition to just following the constant pounding of the drums. The last track is called “Map of Scars”, which could be a perfect opportunity to interject the bass more heavily, considering that it is one of the more somber, yet morbid-sounding songs on the album, with Strnad’s vocals seemingly ready to gnaw the skin off your bones. As an almost classical conclusion, this triumphant finale seems to consist of a continuous bridge slowly converging towards the inevitable dismal conclusion.