The Black Dahlia Murder have long been firm favourites of ours here at Rock Sins. So when they were set to return to London, and at Camden’s Underworld venue no less, then attendance was compulsory! As we often do in these situations, we sent James Halstead along to survey, and take part in, the carnage that was to unfold.
Ingested (6) and Benighted (6) both produce sets with some really strong individual moments to open but ultimately remain “warm up acts.” Ingested, particularly, are really strong at points when their slam death metal hits its gruesome stride. But both bands are soon forgotten when The Black Dahlia Murder (9) hit the stage with new song ‘Receipt.’ Following this up with ‘What A Horrible Night to Have a Curse’ and then ‘On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood’ merely reinforces what a stellar back catalogue Black Dahlia have.
Black Dahlia’s performance is also greatly enhanced by the attitude of the band to their music too. Rather than staring down the front row and gurning, the members turn tonight’s gig into a glorious celebration of brilliant death metal. Fun it might be, but this doesn’t take anything away from just how brilliant the songs are. Possessed of all the rabid extremity good death metal needs but with the melodic craft of the Gothenburg scene Black Dahlia manage to fit in a not inconsiderable seventeen songs in within just over an hour – an impressive achievement when some bands struggle to fit in thirteen in 75 minutes.
If there are any slightly curious decisions tonight they lie in playing so much early material rather than material off the last four albums. There is, of course, a great volume of material culled from latest album, ‘Abysmal’ but songs from Ritual, Deflorate and Everblack are all notable by their absence in any great amount, while, bizarrely, Miasma gets a heavy showing.
With all said and done, however, tonight still proves ‘Black Dahlia’ can more than match their recorded output with a brilliant live show that could go toe-to-toe with any giant of modern metal.