Pin It
Favorite

Why So Serious? 

The Black Dahlia Murder delivers brutal death metal with a smile on their faces

click to enlarge This group proves people are still having fun in Detroit.
  • This group proves people are still having fun in Detroit.

Death metal has never been funny. It's been bloody, scary, morbid and always dramatic — from the time California band Possessed struck the first notes of their 1985 record Seven Churches, an album that arguably forged the death metal genre. Death metal was the guttural-voiced, loose-cannon little brother of early '80s thrash bands. It was meant to be a little unsettling and strange.

"Death is usually about violence and/or evil," writes "Sargon the Terrible" on MetalCrypt.com. "Doom is usually about something depressing, but Black Metal is expressly about evil and hatred, never anything else."

Over the past 20 years, death metal musicians have changed missions somewhat, combining low, brutal vocal stylings with melodic guitars — almost like mashing together Judas Priest's music with deep, throaty Cookie Monster vocals. But generally the mission has stayed the same for all death metal bands: brand your bands with an almost unreadable logo, be scary and play the hell out of your instruments.

That's where the Black Dahlia Murder changed things up. For the past 10 years they've stayed true to death metal's roots and sound, but have packaged and presented it in more of a tongue-in-cheek, punk-rock way — like they can't be bothered with all of death metal's rules and restrictions.

"It seems like people want for you to be categorized so cut and dry," singer Trevor Strnad told KillYourStereo.com earlier this month. "It's like bucking the stereotypes within the death metal scene. I used to look at it like, 'These are my people, I can't wait to just be surrounded in death metal.' Now, it's like, they look at me and I have short hair and they make judgments about me."

That's never deterred Strnad and his bandmates. In a video for "Goat of Departure," a track off the band's most recent album Everblack, the band dresses in tuxedos and ape costumes and plays a set in a tiny Detroit tavern. A few years ago, in a video for "Necropolis," the band dressed like a bowling team and sang out over the lanes of a bowling alley.

"We are known for having a sense of humor. I think it has made us stand out," Strand told KillYourStereo. "We are a serious band, we take our music very, very seriously, but just that approach and having fun, I think it has made us stand out to people." ♦

The Black Dahlia Murder with Skeletonwitch, Fallujah and Noisem • Tue, Nov. 12 at 7 pm • The Hop! • 706 N. Monroe • $17; $20 day of show • All-ages • holdmyticket.com • 328-5467

Tags: , ,

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Play On
  • Play On

    Years after they were crafted, vintage and antique instruments still have their place in Spokane
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • The Wild Bunch
  • The Wild Bunch

    Brooklyn's Guerilla Toss comes to the West Coast for the first time
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Feminist First
  • Feminist First

    Through her music, Dolly Parton has always shown women how to stay strong
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Kongos, the Joy Formidable

Kongos, the Joy Formidable @ Knitting Factory

Tue., Sept. 27, 8:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft

    After three decades of Melvins records, Buzz Osborne makes an awesome album by himself
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Feminist First

    Through her music, Dolly Parton has always shown women how to stay strong
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • Art of the Deal

    Local indie labels offer artists another marketing option, but not everyone is convinced they're necessary
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

COUNTRY


Readers also liked…

  • Moving On
  • Moving On

    Simba and the Exceptional Africans continue to sing and dance after tragedy hits home
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • Fire From the Depths
  • Fire From the Depths

    It took Soblivios two years to finish an album; now they're ready to ravage the world with it
    • Apr 1, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation