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Essential Metal and Hardcore Albums: Reviews of Black Dahlia Murder, As I Lay Dying, The Agony Scene, and Meshuggah

Originally Published: Wednesday, July 27. 2005
Written by: xx

The Black Dahlia Murder – Miasma
July 2005 was an exciting month for me, the new Black Dahlia Murder CD came out and I even pre-ordered it. After hearing Unhallowed once, I kinda brushed it off, then when I saw them live I enjoyed it, yet wasn’t too into it. THEN I busted out Unhallowed about five months back thinking I never listened to this CD and was hooked immediately. I couldn’t believe what I was listening to, this CD just blew me away. So as I listened to it endlessly, the new one gave me even more anticipation.

Once Miasma came to my mailbox I ripped open the packaging and popped it right into the CD player. I listened all the way through and again on my ride to work. More and more the CD impresses me, but not as much as Unhallowed. Maybe a few more listens will send it past Unhallowed, but for now, I’m still amazed at what these guys can do. This is surely death metal at its finest. Each song reminds you that they are a unique sound of their own and they have proved it beyond belief. With song titles that scare you and make you wonder what he’s singing about, you can’t help but pull out the CD insert and read along. By far, the CD holds high to the other three CDs BDM has released, the double bass brings you to your knees and the screaming and growls make your skin crawl. Track number six, ‘Novelty Crosses’ deserves a repeat play, with amazing footwork, guitars, and vocals, you won’t want to change the track. What an album, as I listen to it more and more, the more and more I enjoy it. This band is definitely on the rise and deserving of any fortune, listen and you’ll be amazed.

As I Lay Dying – Shadows and Security
What can I say but wow, after waiting for a few years for the follow-up to Frail Words Collapse, AILD has wowed us again. ‘Shadows and Security’ is a step forward from FWC and for good reason. Within one minute into the album, AILD is already crushing us again with the amazing drum work, fast, screaming guitars, and a voice that kills. It’s almost like you can imagine this song being played live, the intensity of the pit already a minute into the set. Although everyone in their right mind played FWC to death, hoping for more and attending every AILD show they could, each new song was torture and a glimpse of what was to come.

They certainly have done an amazing job, and it’s still hard to believe that the drummer only uses a five-piece set. As each song goes by, you get a feeling that they have softened, but quickly they throw in the heaviest breakdown, and you back to the older AILD you remember. With the last song being the most amazing to me, it sounds the heaviest that AILD could ever sound, almost like a glimpse into what is to come with them, especially their live set. With Metal Blade touring them endlessly and promoting the heck out of FWC and SAS, you should almost be 100% positive you’ll be able to catch a show. Impressive I might say and heavy as all hell. AILD sure has proved themselves to be some of the craziest metalcorers out there.

The Agony Scene – The Darkest Red
I thought this album would never come, but I was super stoked to finally hear it. When they came out with the e-card online and I got to preview a new song, I was super excited to actually get the album. There is definitely a lot more actual singing than just plain screaming like in their self-titled album in 2003. Yet the album is still good and I’m glad I purchased it.

Would I go see them live? Hell yes I would, with the crazy guitars and drums working together like nobody’s business, each song pummels you to the floor and you are left begging for more. His vox has improved and the singing isn’t all that bad, he’s got the gothic voice that portrays TAS and makes you question the music they play. The double bass never seems to stop and you can already picture yourself thrashing around in the pit. His voice is the death metal growl, the guitars are metal and the mixture makes you think of a bit of hardcore. Who knew, a little band from Oklahoma could do so much damage?

Meshuggah – Catch Thirty-Three
After playing your last Meshuggah CD, ‘NOTHING’ over and over, still being puzzled by the crazy “math metal” as we call it, they finally released the long-awaited Catch Thirty-Three. We all know Mesuggah for down-tuning their instruments to insanely low levels, but this band has something to prove. After releasing the teaser ‘I’ which was a nonstop song for 20+ minutes, we could hardly wait for the next album. Catch Thirty-Three is just as similar, if you listen to the entire album, the songs blend just like a dance CD, only extremely better.

No need to pick and choose favorite songs, each one is altogether one itself. Mind-numbing guitars, drums, bass, and vocals make this band a puzzle that will never be solved. All I could do was sit back and jam out to this album, headbanging here and there, the musician’s work just shows you that there is real talent out there and that this band will stop at nothing to prove it. Who else has a sound like this? I can think of absolutely no one, a must-have for any metal fan.

Comments
Written by LollA on 2005-07-31 15:38:05 i have to say i love those cds. especially the AILD one… meshuggah kicks ass live.
Written by perfctlyflawd21 on 2005-07-28 18:30:05I went to an AILD show a couple weeks ago. amazing. and extremely tight. and literally lots of blood coming from the pit too.
haha
Written by metal cinderella on 2005-07-27 23:37:31the comment above was me. 
;D sorry.
wow.
Written by Guest on 2005-07-27 23:34:26i love you. 
you have an excellent music taste. props.

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