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Mental Metal: The Black Dahlia Murder – Blood In The Ink

For a fairly long time, metal has had a strong reputation as a genre that utilizes shock value as part of its publicity stunts, a way for bands to become noticed and toe the line as to what is acceptable in society. A few select bands over the years have tried to push these boundaries further, make people question where their own morals lie and what actually constitutes as “too far”. This next song I want to examine certainly made me do a double-take when I read the lyrics, especially having a bit of context background from the album itself. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the song “Blood In The Ink” by The Black Dahlia Murder.

The song itself and album from which it’s taken (Ritual) marks a musical departure from the band’s previous releases, including more elements of classical music within their melodic death metal frame, making for a release that sounds more mature and sophisticated. Possibly as a side-effect or result of this, Trevor has upped the ante lyrically, and delivered several songs dealing with various ‘rituals’ (grave-robbing, ouija boards, picquerism and Samhain are all covered), but it seems they saved the most potent ’til last. “Blood In The Ink” is a direct address to the listener to indulge in Satanic rituals, worship Belial, kill their parents and harm/kill themselves. However, it’s done in such a clever way that one is not entirely sure if Trevor is playing devil’s advocate as a parody or playing on a genuine manipulation of younger listeners.

Many bands, particularly in the occult black metal scene, have made absolutely no secret of Satanic worship and the calling of a higher evil power through ritual, but TBDM are the first band I’ve come across to actively encourage their listeners to participate. There’s even a ‘contract’ line to sign in the lyric book, which the lyrics say is to be signed in blood. Maybe it’s because it flies in the face of the lyrical censorship battle led by the PMRC et al, or maybe it’s mocking the parents themselves who refer to metal as ‘devil’s music’. I doubt it’s a genuine call from Trevor for TBDM’s listeners to kill themselves, but it certainly remains a lot more thought-provoking.

N.B. An interesting fact, Trevor allegedly locked himself in a dark room and forced himself to watch the most disturbing content the internet has to offer, in preparation for writing Ritual’s lyrics. I can tell you now, it definitely shows. Also, cue shameful plug, if anyone wants to read my review of Ritual, it’s here.

After the jump, the music and lyrics are available for reading.

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Song of the Week-Ritual

Remember a time when everyone’s parents accused metal of being nothing more than Satan worship and its fans took part in cult rituals and made sacrifices(Viva Memphis Three).  Let’s be happy that Ghost wasn’t around during those times because while parents and politicians were out scrutinizing bands like Black Sabbath and Twisted Sister for lyrics that encouraged Satanism and sacrifice, Ghost sings about those themes right up front point-blank.  While it may be a gimmick, it’s a gimmick that they use to perfection as they harken back to the sound of Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer and create retro awesomeness.

Here is the song “Ritual” off their debut release Opus Eponymous.  Never did I think that the lines “The chapel of ritual, smells of dead human sacrifices, from the altar bed, on this night of ritual, invoking our master, to procreate the unholy bastard” would ever be so damn fun and catchy.  Boy, moms and politicians in the 70’s and 80’s would have had tons of fun with this one.  Check it out!! The album is awesome too, maybe I’ll do a review of it later today or tomorrow.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

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