So, we are back again with a new The Black Dahlia Murder release, Ritual. As has been said by many people in the past, at what point do we stop purchasing new albums from this band since it seems like they have reached the boundaries of their music? Each release sounds like the last, and that is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. They produce solid songs, but I have a tough time with The Black Dahlia Murder these days. It did all start to sound the same… until the release of Ritual. I am glad to report that they are some new dynamics added to their music. Does it make me more of a fan now? No, not really.
The Black Dahlia Murder is far from a horrible band, but I was never sold on the vocals. Musically, the band is something else. Vocally, and I know that this is not a popular opinion, the band could do better. I will give them props as being one of the leaders of the extreme metal genre though. They do deserve that praise. Like I said, they are by no means a horrible band. I know quite a few people that swear by this band and I cannot fault them for it in any way. I wish that I enjoyed The Black Dahlia Murder as much as they do. For my money, I would rather listen to the bands that they get A LOT of inspiration from – Carcass and At the Gates.
Ritual offers us a heavier tone and much more experimentation that previous efforts though. Trevor Strnad’s vocals have been steadily improved since the band’s inception, and he does sound a little better here. Technically, the band is as solid as ever with the tight sound that you would expect from a band that I am starting to consider veterans of the genre these days.
Overall, Ritual is a must-add to extreme metal fans, but let’s face it, you already have it if you are an extreme metal fan. For your average metal fan, you will get a lot out of this one too.