Ritual (the Black Dahlia Murder album)

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Studio album by The Black Dahlia Murder
ReleasedJune 17, 2011 (Europe)
June 21 (North America)
StudioRustbelt Studios, Royal Oak, Michigan
Audiohammer Studios, New Windsor, New York
TBDM's practice space, Warren, Michigan
Regal Fecal Studios, Ferndale, Michigan
GenreMelodic death metal,[1][2][3] death metal[4]
LabelMetal Blade
ProducerMark Lewis, Jason Suecof
The Black Dahlia Murder chronology
Singles from Ritual
  1. "Moonlight Equilibrium"
    Released: April 28, 2011
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Rock Sound9/10[3]

Ritual is the fifth studio album by American death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder. It was released on June 17 in Europe and on June 21 in North America via Metal Blade Records. It is the band's last record to feature Ryan "Bart" Williams on bass and Shannon Lucas on drums. The album sold 12,960 copies in the United States in its first week of release and debuted at No. 31 on the Billboard 200.[7] The album has sold 51,000 copies in the US as of September 2015.[8]

Production and recording[edit]

The album was once again produced by Mark Lewis, who also worked on the band's 2009 album Deflorate. Frontman Trevor Strnad considers Ritual "the most focused Black Dahlia Murder strike of all time."[9]

"The whole thread of the songs is more tied together than ever before," explains Strnad. "Part of it was kind of like, 'What can we do that's the most Black Dahlia Murder thing? What's going to be the most quintessential Black Dahlia Murder thing we can do?' That's kind of what we set our foothold in. And 'Ritual', it just lends itself to that — it's mysticism and magic and all of that. Everyone has an association with some kind of ritual, so we just thought it was the next logical step."[9]

Recalling the writing process that led to Ritual's eventual twelve songs, Strnad says that "every song that got brought forth was exciting and more three-dimensional, more twists and turns, more surprises. There's more ups and downs and taking people on a journey this time."[9]

Co-founder Brian Eschbach, meanwhile, credits the presence of fellow guitarist Ryan Knight, who joined the band during Deflorate, with helping to move things forward on this particular venture. "It's been more collaborative than it's been in years," Eschbach notes. "The last two albums (Deflorate and 2007's Nocturnal) I wrote most of the music, and this one it's almost a 50-50 effort between me and (Knight). He lifted what we were doing on the last album so much from what we've done before, his different techniques and stylings that he knows how to wield. It's really exciting for us to have that be part of the band now." Strnad adds that Knight "is an educated musician, and he's brought that kind of aspect into the band, too. We came to him having higher expectations, and he's exceeded all of those [...] And I would say this time, with 'Ritual', we really nailed it even harder than we have before."[9]

The first lyrics in the first track, "A Shrine to Madness", are a reference to a quote which appeared in the 1997 video game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Promotion and release[edit]

The song "Moonlight Equilibrium" was made available for streaming on April 29, 2011 at Metal Blade's web site.[10][11] The song "Conspiring with the Damned" became available for streaming on May 17, 2011 via lambgoat.com.[12] Audio samples of all the tracks that are set to appear on "Ritual" were available for streaming at Amazon.com the 7th May.[13] The entire album was made available for public streaming on June 14, 2011 on MSN.[14] The album was released on June 17 in Europe and on June 21 in North America via Metal Blade Records.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Trevor Strnad.

1."A Shrine to Madness" (Ritual of Celebration)4:40
2."Moonlight Equilibrium" (Ritual of Transformation)3:28
3."On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood" (Ritual of Condemnation)4:42
4."Conspiring with the Damned" (Ritual of Communication)3:44
5."The Window" (Ritual of Abduction)3:39
6."Carbonized in Cruciform" (Ritual of Conjuration)4:46
7."Den of the Picquerist" (Ritual of Mutilation)1:30
8."Malenchantments of the Necrosphere" (Ritual of Condemnation)4:18
9."The Grave Robber's Work" (Ritual of Desecration)3:37
10."The Raven" (Ritual of Observation)2:58
11."Great Burning Nullifier" (Ritual of Emancipation)3:25
12."Blood in the Ink" (Ritual of Indoctrination)4:40
Total length:45:27



  1. ^ a b James Christopher Monger. "Ritual". AllMusic. Retrieved August 20, 2015. Rising above the predictable black din of contemporary death metal can be a formidable task, but Michigan-based melodic death rockers the Black Dahlia Murder manage to do just that on ... the relentless and rewarding Ritual. Employing a lethal mix of old-school American thrash, Scandinavian black metal, Carcass-era grindcore, and classic dual-lead power metal, Ritual roars in like a runaway train and leaves the listener in pieces.
  2. ^ a b Krovatin, Christopher (June 21, 2011). "Review: The Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual". Revolver. Retrieved August 20, 2015. [The] Black Dalia Murder have returned with another over-the-top opus, Ritual, an inexhaustible bout of melodic death metal that juggles more influences than most bands can name and balances effortlessly somewhere between Pantera, Suffocation, and Darkane.
  3. ^ a b Horsley, Jonathan (June 25, 2011). "The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual". Rock Sound. Retrieved August 20, 2015. The Black Dahlia Murder are just straight-up melodic death metal (and not the total feeble s**t neither), if anything their sound is informed as much by post-Necroticism… Carcass and Swedish blackened death metal iconoclasts Dissection as it is by anything around today
  4. ^ Alisoglu, Scott. "The Black Dahlia Murder Ritual". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "Ritual". Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Alisoglu, Scott. "Ritual (Metal Blade)". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  7. ^ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER: 'Ritual' First-Week Sales Revealed - June 29, 2011, Blabbermouth.net
  8. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on September 17, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d The Black Dahlia Murder To Release 'Ritual' In June - Apr. 28, 2011 Archived May 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Blabbermouth.net
  10. ^ The Black Dahlia Murder | Ritual
  11. ^ The Black Dahlia Murder: New Song Available For Streaming - Apr. 29, 2011, Blabbermout.net
  12. ^ The Black Dahlia Murder debuts new song // News // Lambgoat
  13. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER: Audio Samples Of Entire 'Ritual' Album Available
  14. ^ [1]