The Black Dahlia Murder - _Miasma_
(Metal Blade, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
From the first few seconds of album opener "A Vulgar Picture", The Black Dahlia Murder do not attempt to deceive the listener: this is basically Swedish metal made in the USA, and it is delivered at a frantic pace. An intense drumming barrage propels the twin guitars and dual scream/growl vocal approach throughout each track, never stopping for a breath. Fortunately this second full-length album of theirs only goes on for just over half an hour, or else they might suffocate -- and so might the listener, as variety is not exactly one of _Miasma_'s strong points.

The Black Dahlia Murder deliver material that has plenty of elements very reminiscent of records released ten years ago, but they do it in a convincing, determined manner. This increased ferocity remains their principal redeeming quality; the musicianship on _Miasma_ is also tighter than before, while the production hovers between strong and somewhat unusual. There is plenty of venom, potent drumming and some good riffs and leads ("A Vulgar Picture", "Miasma"), but the tremolo style and generic Swedish riffs are neither new nor used in some superior way. To make things worse, the rather average vocals are all over the music and tend to be monotonous. Since their debut, TBDM have not improved in terms of originality or inspiration. While this is a decent record, there just isn't much here that is distinctive or inspired enough to make TBDM stand out.


(article published 12/9/2005)

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