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The Black Dahlia Murder - 'Deflorate'

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The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate

The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate

Metal Blade Records

The Bottom Line

New school melodic death-sters are still kicking.
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  • Stands musically head and shoulders above its contemporaries.
  • Legitimate Gothenburg ties are audible throughout.
  • Fair balance between brutal and melodic black/death metal styles.


  • Songwriting is still faceless.
  • Style over substance.
  • Brief tracks don’t leave much to chew on.


  • Released September 15, 2009 on Metal Blade Records.
  • This is The Black Dahlia Murder’s fourth full length.
  • Produced by Jason Suecof.

Guide Review - The Black Dahlia Murder - 'Deflorate'

It’s unfair to lump in The Black Dahlia Murder with metalcore or any of its dreaded and assorted progeny. No, this Michigan quintet is a bit more than that, and has—since day one—been far more interested in aping the melodic, Swedish approach to black/death metal. Deflorate is the band’s fourth record proper, however, and although credit has thus far been given where it’s due, at this point The Black Dahlia Murder’s attempts seem futile.

While The Black Dahlia’s 2003 debut Unhallowed possessed a handful of mildly memorable tunes, the shifting, aimless songwriting style of the group remains too unoriginal to do much damage to the listener. Of course, the relative failure of follow-ups Miasma and Nocturnal to capitalize or improve on said debut’s momentum paints The Black Dahlia Murder into a corner they probably don’t deserve to be in: The Also Ran. The fact that Deflorate’s best—and most black metal influenced—track is tacked on to the end (“I Will Return”) doesn’t do the band any favors, either.

The bottom line is that The Black Dahlia Murder—despite all of this—is still a massive success. This good fortune, however, seems to be based on everything except the quality of their music. Call it a sad sign of the times…call it what you will, but the mindset of the average metal fan these days seems to be far more focused on style, rather than substance. Unfortunately for The Black Dahlia Murder, they are lacking too much in the latter category to stand out as anything other than a footnote or photocopy of Swedish death metal glory.

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