I can’t count how many times I’ve seen The Black Dahlia Murder live, but each time I see them is better than the last. At The Orpheum on December 12 this band successfully seized Tampa, Florida — even while playing in the midst of a holiday parade.
This band has showed obvious progression, from their debut Unhallowed to the latest Abysmal, and this is embodied in their vigorous live set. It seems like playing a killer set is inborn into every single one of these members. Right, when they go on stage they immediately grasp you. That’s because they don’t simply perform death metal, but rather this band is enacting a crusade and causing an attack.
Vocalist Trevor Strnad’s piercing vocals always sound like they’re biting into your soul; whether he was performing older songs like I’m Charming or newer songs like Vlad, Son of the Dragon everyone in the crowd parishes under his command. Every other member cut into you deep so that you couldn’t help but be consumed by this band. A maniacal band was met with an unruly crowd, and the whole floor of the venue was moving. There’s a reason why The Black Dahlia Murder is the supreme modern death metal band and seeing them live proves that.
With Abysmal, this band demonstrated just how slaughtering they are; rather than focusing on a polished feel, this raw sound only provokes a morbid atmosphere. Strnad takes you to a decaying world that’s surrounded by flames. The musicianship is also at its zenith as riffs tear into the flesh of the album with drumming so complex it can only be described as an enigma. This band is out of the whole “young band” category and emerging into the death metal hall of fame list, if there is one.
The Age of Metal interviewed guitarist Ryan Knight. In the interview, we discuss the tour, Abysmal and what he can tell us about 2016.