|The Black Dahlia Murder formed on 2000 and some time later established themselves at the forefront of the then-burgeoning U.S. metal scene when they released their full-length Metal Blade debut Unhallowed in June 2003. The release of that critically lauded album, however, was only the beginning of an epic journey that would find this Detroit, Michigan, quintet dealing with personnel issues (founding member drummer Cory Grady was replaced by Zach Gibson) and a nonstop touring itinerary that kept them on the road for nearly two years playing with bands as diverse as The Red Chord, Arch Enemy, Napalm Death and Terror. But those experiences ultimately had a profound effect on their latest Metal Blade release, Miasma. "The road has been what really made Miasma what it is," vocalist Trevor Strnad confesses. "Much of the content here is a direct result of our experience in the band."
It is no surprise, then, that Miasma reflects the insanity of life on the road for five guys, barely over the legal drinking age, who were playing an endless string of shows across North America and Europe. "It's quite a bit more personal lyrically, ranging from anthems of cheap sex and drug use to more classic Black Dahlia Murder horror style," says Strnad. "I've tried to reinvent BDM lyrically here. It's still dark. It's still really evil shit."
Strnad's growth as a lyricist is just one of the ways the band expanded its sound on Miasma. Guitarist Brian Eschbach contributed more to the writing process while his counterpart John Kempainen wrote and played solos for every track. As a result, The Black Dahlia Murder--rounded out by bassist Dave Lock--have created an album that reflects the bonds cemented by the band's two-year odyssey. Recorded and co-produced with the band by Scarlet drummer Andreas Magnusson at Planet Red Studio in Richmond, Virginia, Miasma is a deadly reinvention of The Black Dahlia Murder's nefariously nasty melodic death metal sound. It is a sound that Kempainen simply describes as "more pissed off." Strnad sees other improvements, as well, however. "The new songs are much heavier than anything on Unhallowed," he declares. "We were making a conscious effort to challenge ourselves as players and give each song an identity of its own. And the addition of Zach has enabled us as a unit to write more complex and interesting arrangements."
Miasma is just the latest chapter in the ever-twisted saga of The Black Dahlia Murder. Like the long-unsolved murder of a young Hollywood starlet that the band took its name from, The Black Dahlia Murder's appeal is visceral and dark, a terror-filled exploration of extreme sounds and vicious brutality. And it is a step closer to the apex the band is still aiming its sights for. "I feel that we are yet to reach our prime," says Strnad, "but Miasma is many steps closer to where we want to be. We have a better band in 2005 and now a record to show for it."
Their new album, Nocturnal, was released on September 18th, 2007.