Review: Black Dahlia Murder

Black Dahlia Murder
(Metal Blade)

After subjecting the listener to an achingly dull and protracted introduction the band kicks into a predictable cross between death metal and grindcore.  They’re heavy on the grind side utilizing the now traditional dual vocal attack with one voice high and screechy and the other low and guttural. There’s plenty of back and forth between the two vocalists, and I always find that a good thing for this oft times wearisome genre of metal.

The band takes their name from the gruesome murder of Elizabeth Smart (dubbed, “Black Dahlia” by the sensationalistic press) whose body was found severed and sodomized with grass clippings stuffed into her vagina in a vacant lot in the Crenshaw district in Los Angeles, CA in early 1947.  You see, they’re a grindcore/death metal band so they have to take their nom de plume from either a medical dictionary or from the lowest and sickest forms of human conduct.  Sometimes this kind of music can be cathartic, but this band just doesn’t hit me right.

They have some melodious guitar lines working as counter point to the grotesque atonal barking vocals, and the talent to pull off each song with conviction and finesse.  But…  Oh, there’s always a “but”…  it’s still morose, macabre and serves only to bring one down.  Where’s the joie de vivre, Black Dahlia Murder?