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The Black Dahlia Murder Miasma

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01. Built For Sin 02. I'm Charming 03. Flies 04. Statutory Ape 05. A Vulgar Picture 06. Novelty Crosses 07. Dave Goes To Hollywood 08. Miscarriage 09. Spite Suicide 10. Miasma
2005 Metal Blade Records
Our score 6

by Michael Gluck
8/3/2005

I'm going to break the news right away to remove the potentially disappointing suspense: This album is quite the disappointment in the face of the promise The Black Dahlia Murder were blessed with upon first breaking on to the scene. It's far from a bad album; there's no question that numerous moments of greatness seek to redeem its very undermining nature, and at first listen it will most definitely blow away the legion of young fans just getting turned on to this fast-expanding crossbreed genre. But that doesn't do much to convince a seasoned listener from the extreme underground of its pleas for praise. The areas where the band reigned have diminished in potency, as Miasma sees them slowing down their once breakneck speeds to a virtually continuous and pesky mid-paced groove, with ordinary blast beats often in tow. No longer is there an aura of hyper-melodic-thrash, but instead a monotonous interchange of common speeds that fans of extreme music will be all too familiar with. And since combining exaggerated speed blasts with accelerated melodic riffs was what raised eyebrows the most about Unhallowed, this loss of speed is especially damaging to the promise which their debut prompted. Miasma has some speed, but not nearly to the degree that there should have been. New drummer Zach Gibson matches the new sound well though, peppering the slower and thus roomier song structures with an array of fills and complimentary cymbal work. The dancing main melodic riffs carrying "Flies" and "A Vulgar Picture" characterize the only straightforward tracks reminiscent of their debut, with the rest taking on a more disjointed approach. The guitars now bring much more low-end to the table than before, but it's questionable whether this overcompensation for its absence from Unhallowed actually works in their favor. Tracks like "I'm Charming," "Statutory Ape," "Novelty Crosses," and "Miscarriage" showcase this new approach, which sees the band substituting throwaway chainsaw riffing for the constant melodic picking that once made them every metal fan's guilty pleasure. Try as I may to appreciate their desire to break out of the solely plagiaristic Gothenburg sound they once swore by, I still can't help but interpret Miasma as a transition record rather than the masterpiece many of the scene's newcomers are labeling it as. The more intricate song structures underlying most tracks on the album mean numerous listens are required to understand their full scope. But even with the skill and stamina that the band have, as visible on Miasma but much more so on Unhallowed, more parts to the songs does not necessarily create great songs; precisely the issue with much of this album. Unhallowed succeeded because it combined speed, a small rotation of melodic riffs per song, and efficient structure. Miasma suffers because it complicates many songs with more time changes, and an overall convoluted feel. Bottom Line: When The Black Dahlia Murder broke on to the scene several years ago, you couldn't convince them to fill their songs with anything other than a melodic Gothenburg riff. As their debut album Unhallowed proved, they were able to make a pretty decent album out of those riffs. Forgive me for expecting more of the same, but why couldn't they continue along that same path on Miasma It's an album that sees a band once though to be only competent enough to steal melodic riffs and speed them up, branch out into more vintage death metal territory and generally slow everything down. Many may, and will, call Miasma a sign that the band is on top of their game, but it sounds to me like they're still trying to find a sound to call their own.

69 comments

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joe_ 8/3/2005 8:46:54 AM

i like the album


ipoopedinyourcloset_ 8/3/2005 8:52:20 AM

Bands get blasted for ripping off the european metal scene, then get blasted for moving away from it. Can't have it both ways there f*cko.


cultureofwaste_ 8/3/2005 9:05:36 AM

give me a break, this album kills Unhallowed in so many ways. it's heavier while still maintaining their signature sound and the song structures have evolved into something a lot more unique and interesting than on the last one... but hey, opinions are like jerks - everyone's got one.


anonymous 8/3/2005 9:24:35 AM

sad but true


tomgilk_ 8/3/2005 9:42:29 AM

perfect review


anonymous 8/3/2005 9:46:49 AM

terrible review


anonymous 8/3/2005 9:51:03 AM

this band is pure garbage


Dethroned_ 8/3/2005 10:20:40 AM

Couldn't agree more sadly. Maybe a 7 perhaps but it doesn't really matter because the bottom line is that this was a disapointment.


Morgan_ 8/3/2005 10:39:30 AM

yea, the review sucks. The album is so far one of my favirote of the year, and sounds incredible, even though they don't play the exact music that they started playing, doesn't mean its not great music...


zampano_ 8/3/2005 10:44:07 AM

"It's far from a bad album; there's no question that numerous moments of greatness seek to redeem its very undermining nature, and at first listen it will most definitely blow away the legion of young fans just getting turned on to this fast-expanding crossbreed genre. " That's quite a sentence there, fella.


SMokeOutLoud_ 8/3/2005 10:48:34 AM

no sound to call their pwn is right, bored with tBDM.


truthsayer_ 8/3/2005 10:53:05 AM

I'll agree with the review.


perfectpatientADHDkid_ 8/3/2005 11:03:29 AM

f*ck this piece of shit, munching band


hatedragon_ 8/3/2005 11:31:55 AM

great reveiw, i agree completely, Unhallowed was a lot more interesting and entertaining. Miasma = meh


mike _ 8/3/2005 12:06:49 PM

are you serious? this album not only excells in every aspect of what "unhallowed" did previously, but you guys reviewed that and gave it an 8. you lambgoat nerds are getting quite ridiculous honestly w/ ripping bands like that on their sequel records. you did the same thing w/ between the buried and me and countless other bands that deserve way better reviews for putting out sophmore albums that litereally blow away their previous efforts. i used to like this website but now it seems its based o


mitsivurg_ 8/3/2005 12:17:30 PM

This is a horrid review. But afterall, it is a lambgoat reviewer, so it doesn't count.


doogle_ 8/3/2005 12:17:52 PM

Unhallowed was better because their old drummer didn't have a stank ass ponytail


deadwithfear_ 8/3/2005 12:23:34 PM

shitty shitty review. miasma > unhallowed.


Mike_ 8/3/2005 12:34:09 PM

I, Monarch by Hate Eternal destroys Miasma.


peno_ 8/3/2005 12:35:31 PM

f*ck this reviewer. Miasma is a step forward in tbdm's evolution. These guys are easily the best metal band this decade, hands down. f*ck what cha heard.


vegans_taste_good_ 8/3/2005 12:39:24 PM

"WAHHH WAHHH, shitty band that i like got a bad review". if you don't like the reviews here gays then don't read them. this band blows chunks.


Dethroned_ 8/3/2005 1:01:57 PM

"I, Monarch by Hate Eternal destroys Miasma." Hate Eternal's newest pretty much destroys anything.


dartanian_lives_ 8/3/2005 1:06:24 PM

It is a transition record, but transition records usually are foreplay ... they should get you really excited. f*ck this cynical review! If you like / love Unhallowed, check this album out. It is alot heavier in some regards, and yes it is slower at times ... but I want to see where BDM takes it. Please don't ever allow this guy to review an album again, he doesn't know shit about writing. I want you to write ONE GOD DAMN CLEAR AND CONCISE SENTENCE. You sound like a pretentious jerk ...


HB_Dad_ 8/3/2005 1:21:01 PM

Whoa! A review that says EXACTLY how I felt after I rushed out and traded several CDs to get this one. Its true, the intensity is lost. It is still a really good album, but it is NOT Black Dahlia Murder. It lacks songs on caliber with "Elder Misanthropy" and the amazingly fast (and their best song ever) "Hymn For The Wretched". Again, its a good album, but just not them!


Jeff_ 8/3/2005 1:42:35 PM

Black dahlia = one of the most overrated bands in metal. "I, Monarch by Hate Eternal destroys Miasma." That statement says it all.


Jeff_ 8/3/2005 2:08:59 PM

after reading this-------- http://www.hxc.com/news/002235.php i dont hate them as much


Xithyl_ 8/3/2005 2:13:14 PM

This is a pretty weak review. A lot of contradictions and proofs that make little sense. I like it a little more than 'Unhallowed', I'd give it an 8.


XgrindX_ 8/3/2005 2:51:47 PM

unhollowed>miasma. too slow.


anonymous 8/3/2005 2:58:53 PM

Not enough parts that stick out. You can listen to the whole album and not remember anything except the intro.


hotaction_ 8/3/2005 3:30:20 PM

i can see what youre saying and i felt the same way initially-BUT this album will grow on you and when it does its amazing. give it another chance. i would have given it a 7 AT LEAST


whatever_ 8/3/2005 4:42:09 PM

I love this album and unhallowed. now suck me bitches.


xbenveganx_ 8/3/2005 4:42:11 PM

"Not enough parts that stick out. You can listen to the whole album and not remember anything except the intro." EXACTLY. :( New Hate Eternal is amazing though \m/


lefthandpath_ 8/3/2005 5:32:38 PM

This review is bullshit. Miasma smokes everything BDM did before it. Technically, groove, delivery. The dude who reviewed this album shouldnt be reviewing albums at all.


jason_ 8/3/2005 5:37:40 PM

great f*cking cd, seriously. so much more dark, more technical, it's just better in so many ways than unhallowed. dumb review.


thegoddamnawesome_ 8/3/2005 6:03:19 PM

i like this record. far from amazing, though.


kingben_ 8/3/2005 6:53:53 PM

i completely agree with this review, except the score. i'd give it a 7. not nearly as good as unhallowed.


gorebuzz_ 8/3/2005 10:10:22 PM

"This album is quite the disappointment in the face of the promise The Black Dahlia Murder" <-well said This album is by no means heavier than Unhallowed. It feels a little more At The Gates with this one. I hate that band, so I was pretty hesitant on it at first. It still has it's moments however...still...meh.


anonymous 8/3/2005 10:37:12 PM

BDM is dog shit.


hxcobd_ 8/3/2005 11:06:29 PM

The bottom line of all this is that, if you actually expected this album to be good and worth waiting for, you're an idiot.


hyp_ 8/4/2005 12:06:56 AM

it's Statutory beat not Ape you dumb ass


hyp_ 8/4/2005 12:06:56 AM

it's Statutory beat not Ape you dumb ass


The REAL Bob Rock_ 8/4/2005 6:41:24 AM

For everyone who disagrees with the review and demanding the review be shot into the sun: IT'S A f*ckING REVIEW, IDIOTS. THEY - ARE - OPINION - PIECES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JESUS f*ckING CHRIST!


Mike_ 8/4/2005 7:43:58 AM

CD is good. It has more grind sound than the last one.


anonymous 8/4/2005 11:13:08 AM

haha yeah....guys, its statutory beat, not ape.....^^^ shut you you moron and actually read the song titles on the back of your copy of the disc


anonymous 8/4/2005 3:55:35 PM

It actually is Statutory Ape on the back of the promotional copies sent out.


mc_ 8/4/2005 5:02:35 PM

Couldn't have put it any better. No matter how reluctantly I'd want to.


turn_coat_ 8/4/2005 5:12:45 PM

what the f*ck? this album does not build upon or expand upon what they did with unhallowed or cold blooded epitaph or buy us a van or a terrible night to have a curse. i knew this album was going to be different and it is but you can't compare this to any of their previous releases. they went entirly in a new direction here and miasma sounds more geared to an album that would be released by relapse. although i don't like miasma as much as unhallowed i give them credit for reinventing themselv


youknowyoudontcare_ 8/4/2005 5:42:14 PM

agreed. felt exactly the same way upon listening. the songs feel so much more forced, as if they wrote them to get the cd out. hopefully the band will stay together long enough to really evolve into something special, because i felt Unhallowed held the potential of a top notch metal band.


lamegoat_ 8/4/2005 9:40:12 PM

miasma blows unhallowed away handsdown. This reviewer is a f*cking idiot.


cry cry cry_ 8/5/2005 4:16:33 AM

horrible, regurgitated cheese.


AIDSmuppet_ 8/5/2005 5:21:05 AM

even though i dig this, people who say this album is great need their heads checked


non applicable_ 8/5/2005 9:36:54 AM

More Heavier More Blast Beats More Crunchier But not even close to being as good as Unhallowed, I have to admit I didn't like this album at first but it has grown on me. The production job is shit it's like listening to that Townsend produced LOG album. 7/10


RobM_ 8/5/2005 3:33:35 PM

i just wanted to let the person that wrote this know that you are a complete idiot. BDM is one of the best metal bands out there right now. the new record destroys and IS a continuation of what they were doing. i have been listening to metal for years and i cant believe that any real metal fan would give this record a bad review. if you are reading my comment, ignore this dude and go buy this album right now-IT SLAYS THE COMPETITION!


Mike_ 8/5/2005 3:43:57 PM

"BDM is one of the best metal bands out there right now." You pretty much dug your grave right there buddy. You haven't been listening to metal very long if you love this band so much. You want real metal, you won't find much on Metal Blade these days that's for sure.


nathan_ 8/6/2005 3:08:23 PM

"You haven't been listening to metal very long if you love this band so much. You want real metal, you won't find much on Metal Blade these days that's for sure." I hate the comment "real" metal. the black dahlia murder owns and this record is really good. f*cking stupid. you get told you're a dumbass for liking a band like the black dahlia murder who shreds "real" metal. thats like saying you're a moron for driving a f*cking ford 150 instead of a model T...you know... a REAL car...no one dri


phantomlord_ 8/7/2005 11:13:23 AM

bdm is a band that metalcore gays latch onto because they think they are "metal". this album sucks...its f*cking generic and the guitar tone is nothing but shitty. anyone who knows anything about melodic death metal would shit on this album...its been done before, just not with girl jeans.


Jon_ 8/8/2005 5:25:28 PM

Whoever says this album sucks needs to burn in hell!! Miasma is the best death metal album I've heard in a long ass time.


mik_ 8/9/2005 6:41:14 AM

this reviewer doesnt know shit. this album is bdm turning point, to many the best album ever released by bdm. reviewer is big euro fan he loves euro bands like he loves euro c-ck.. this album gives bdm a definate sound of their own if you cant hear it reviewer go to your doctor get him to stick his pole in your ear.


Michel Goulet_ 8/10/2005 4:27:01 PM

first post


Meldon_ 8/14/2005 3:46:44 AM

This reviewer is possibly one of the dumbest f*cks to ever contribute to this site. From the multitude of contradictions to the obviously overwraught attempts at using "good vocabulary" to the moments where the reviewers sheer ignorance of music shine through like the sun on a rainy day, this review stacks up to be one of the most laughable pieces of musical "criticism" I had the pleasure of reading. Bottom Line: Hey Michael, get f*cked! You know shit about metal and your writing is terrib


steve_ 9/7/2005 6:24:47 PM

being a drummer, this album blew me away. anyone who listens to Novelty Crosses and says this is a bad album is dumb


KiteEatingTree_ 9/12/2005 10:43:38 PM

this album ruled and you're an idiot if you say otherwise. the drumming is over the top, and the music is superb.


ADAM_ 11/28/2005 3:02:05 AM

This CD... has everything tech riffs sick licks AMAZING DRUMS INTENSE VOCALS TERRIBLE REVIEW this album blows unhallowed away..only gay metalcore kids would think their old shit is better DONT BE A f*ckIN GAY


Adam_ 11/28/2005 3:04:24 AM

"Miasma sees them slowing down their once breakneck speeds to a virtually continuous and pesky mid-paced groove, with ordinary blast beats often in tow." ok listen to the second song on the cd and tell me thats not fast/sick blast beats with amazing fills LISTEN TO THE f*ckING ALBUM... this reviewer sucks..ALL OF LAMBGOATS REVIEWERS SUCK c-ck


xthardingx_ 12/13/2005 2:04:58 PM

dude seriously. lambgoat gives shitty bands like it dies today better reviews than this alblum. this alblum is a step up in production. its more crisp and clean than any other alblum out at the time. straight up. this review = poo


anonymous 12/31/2005 12:05:42 AM

i kinda agree with the review its not that great i loved Unhallowed its better than Miasma way and if you love it then good for you but yoou must have not been listnening to the first cd right maybe you were to busy listening to atreyu or some other stupid band and then realized that the black dahlia murder is awesome idk thats just my take on it


Dennis_ 5/23/2006 2:27:26 PM

I was totally disappionted upon first listen, but after I listened to it more, it grew on me. One of my fave Albums now.


Taylor_ 6/21/2006 1:56:13 PM

f*ck you narc's id like to see anyone here put out a cd half as good as this one. this cd is 10x better than unhallowed. get your heads out of your vjayjay's and stop listening to fall out boy....gays


rod_ 12/13/2006 4:03:47 PM

music is mediocre. cd has the worst f*cking layout and song titles ive ever heard. built for sin, im charming, dave goes to hollywood...sounds like im reading the back of an etid disc