You could probably put on any of their last three releases and most people won’t be able to tell the difference.
The Black Dahlia Murder are a bunch of great musicians who have chosen to produce okay music for a while now. Nightbingers is their newest release, and it sounds like just about everything else the band has produced. Whether this is a good or bad thing will determine on how much one just wants to hear more of the same.
I am going to be critical of this album, and perhaps some of it is unfair. Nightbringers feels like the hundredth album this year that seems more like a straight-to-DVD sequel than anything new from a band I generally like. The tracks smash together in a more or less monotonous way. I could probably guess which songs were written just to be bridges in their live acts.
Maybe the days of honest musical evolution and maturation of songwriting are simply gone. I feel like this is sort of an inside joke from the band. Here’s the new model of our music that will be fashionable this year. I have blasted Amon Amarth for rehashing the same shit over and over, but I never assumed that Dahlia would follow suit. About ten years ago, a new Dahlia album meant a new apex in creativity and speed. Did they cap out? Perhaps that is the issue more than anything.
I can hear the detractors already. Sure, the album is fast, groovy, and the solos are great, but it all just sounds familiar. “Catacomb Hecatomb” does show that the band still has some new tricks up their sleeve (and this is the only track where the Arsis guitarist really seems to be influencing the sound). However, a couple good tracks with a lot of filler is still a filler album.
Is this what metal is going to be now? Are we seeing the I-phoning of music? A new release to tied you over, once 2018 rolls around I’m sure they’ll shit out another 30 minutes of material and this release will be promptly forgotten. Fuck legacy and get paid seems to be the new mantra. Having to listen to the album a second time proved to be an exercise in boredom more than anything. I can’t tell when one song ends or another begins. This is the shiny new penny for all the cool kids to gush over.
For the hell of I threw on Abysmal (an apt name) and mixed the tracks back and forth. Aside from a slight crisper production quality on Nightbringers these are the same album. There is nothing here that you have not already heard. Don’t waste your time. 3/10