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Album Review

The brutal murder of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, in Los Angeles in early 1947 went down in history as one of the most gruesome and shocking crimes of the '40s. The United States was, generally speaking, a more innocent, less jaded country (at least on the surface) in that pre-Manson Family, pre-Hillside Strangler, pre-Night Stalker era — and Short's mutilation horrified a lot of Americans. Any band that would name itself after Short's killing is obviously fascinated with dark subject matter, and shock-value lyrics are quite plentiful on the Black Dahlia Murder's second full-length album, Miasma. This 2005 release is a perfect example of a U.S. recording with a very Scandinavian sound; BDM are from Detroit, but their bombastic death metal/black metal assault is greatly influenced by the extreme metal bands of Sweden and Norway. Miasma is hardly the only 2005 release that combines death metal and black metal elements, but the way BDM handles the vocals — although not innovative — is noteworthy. There are two extreme vocal styles on Miasma — death metal's deep, guttural growl and black metal's high-pitched rasp — and throughout the 33-minute disc, the growl and the rasp interact in a duet-like fashion. Wherever the growl goes, the rasp is never far away (and vice versa). The growl and the rasp are so integrated on Miasma that BDM never really shows a preference for either death metal or black metal; the Motor City residents show an equally strong appreciation of both and do so with consistently Nordic-sounding results. This harsh, blistering sledgehammer of a CD falls short of remarkable, but it's a decent (if somewhat uneven) effort that is worth checking out if one holds Scandinavian-style death metal and Scandinavian-style black metal in equally high regard.

Customer Reviews

Completely Poser-Free

I have a huge amount of respect for these guys. Though I only have some of their songs, I saw them live a week back and they rocked. They didn't follow the "wear all black, act real cool and be like all the other metal bands" trend. The singer had some orange bathing suit on, and even though he is not the most fit guy, he didn't wear a shirt but did not give a sh*t. The whole band dressed like normal guys and did not try to be cool or trend-followers. They all wore ear plugs (which is smart, they'll just be making music longer than all the other bands that won't be able to hear in 10 years). And best of all, they played relentless poser-less straight up metal. I'll keep a keen eye out for these guys the next time they come touring near me again. I recommend you buy this cd as well.

Another Amazing Record From Detroit's Best

The Black Dahlia Murder is a hell of an amazing band. These guys play some amazing music, and the vocals alter from a higher pitch vocal style to a deep throat scream. The guitar work is flawless, and you can't go wrong with the production. Best tracks are "A Vulgar Picture", "Novelty Crosses", and "Miscarriage". You should buy this. I bought the CD version of this about the time it came out, and it is amazing. Buy it.

Very nicely none album, with some minor drawbacks

First off let me start with a basic generic review of the whole album. It is a great, very fast, peice of art. The guitar solos are well placed, and they don't sound cheesy. You can here alot of influence from the band At the Gates. The only real, minor problem I found with the disc, is that while the drums are very fast, they seem a little to processed and perfect sounding. It would have ben better if they provided more breathing room for the drums. The guitars were very nice, technical, fast, heavy. They seemed to be tuned lower than TBDM's previous album (Unhallowed), which results in a heavier tone. The entire album seems to be alot heavier than their previous work. The vocals were nicely done, and higher in pitch than the previous work (Unhallowed). The high vocals almost sound like a witches cackle, while the low vocals remind you of corpses. The lows are a little gurgly, which is cool. There seems to be a good balance between the two tones. I alsdo noticed, that instead of talking about your typical metal kind of stuff (zombies, corpses, satan,ect), he focused more on personal things like life on the road, or temptation, stuff like that. Which I personaly like. Now, on to the song reviews. 1. Built for Sin: A nice heavy opener 4/5 2. I'm Charming: A very fast thrash influenced song, probably one of the fastest on the album 4/5 3. Flies: A nicely made song, but kind of forgettable, very fast drums though 3/5 4. Statutory Ape: A very fast song, but like Flies, it's kind of forgettable 3/5 5. A Vulgar Picture: One of the stand out tracks on the album, very fast, very nicely done. If your going to download only a couple of songs, make this one of them 5/5 6. Novelty Crosses: Nice, fast song, very well written lyrics, one of the heaviest songs on the album. 4/5 7. Dave Goes to Hollywood: Very well crafted song, it changes textures alot, but comes together in one cohesive work. 4/5 8. Miscarriage: The least heavy song on the record (but that's not saying much), very nice meldodic death metal here, one of the memorable ones. 5/5 9. Spite Suicide: Short, fast, and brutal, those three words perfectly sum up this song. 4/5 10.Miasma: The BEST song on the record, amazing guitars, amazing drums, amazing vocals, this one's gonna stick in your head for a while. 6/5 As you can see, the latter half of the album is a little better, but the record is pretty good overall. I can't see any songs that would be considered "filler".


Formed: Detroit, MI

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Detroit's the Black Dahlia Murder, named for the infamous 1947 slaying of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, actually sounds like they should live in Scandinavia, whence originates much of the frenetic brand of death and black metal that inspires them. Formed in January 2001, the Black Dahlia Murder followed their six-song What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse demo with the four-track A Cold-Blooded Epitaph EP, which was released on their own Lovelost Records. Having already made...
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Miasma, The Black Dahlia Murder
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