The Black Dahlia Murder well and truly delivered with their ‘Yule ‘Em All: A Holiday Variety Extravaganza’ livestream
11.01.2021

The Black Dahlia Murder well and truly delivered with their ‘Yule ‘Em All: A Holiday Variety Extravaganza’ livestream

Words by Alex Callan

All a Black Dahlia fan could ask for.

I’m sure Santa would have been pretty confused when he started getting a huge influx of people adding a Black Dahlia Murder live set to their Christmas list.

Luckily, St Nicholas didn’t just judge, he listened and delivered.

‘Yule ‘Em All’ was a Christmas themed live stream which saw The Black Dahlia Murder perform songs off all their albums, whilst constantly upping the ante on their skits, outfits and performance locations.

As their host Neil Hamburger politely put it; “it’s time to grab your beers, pack your bongs and prepare yourself for a Yule time odyssey.”

Opening with ‘Funeral Thirst’ and ‘Contagion’ would have really blown away fans. By 2020, I don’t think anyone really expects that their favourite bands will still be playing songs nearly two decades old. That’s why the opening of songs off their 2003 debut album ‘Unhallowed’ was truly revered.

It was at the opening riff of ‘Misama’ that I realised the boys may be approaching this set in a chronological listing of album releases. Proving to still perfect the song in a live setting Trevor Strnad’s black metal inspired highs still ring as eerily brutal as they did in 2003.

A new set location offered up the newest setlist, and seeing it started with the blistering title track of my favourite Black Dahlia album, ‘Nocturnal’, I knew we were in for a special 20 minutes. Still delivering the high-frequency blast beats of black and extreme metal, ‘Nocturnal’ offers more of a modern-day metal approach due to its changes in tempo and miny breakdowns throughout the songs.

‘What A Horrible Night to Have a Curse’ is one of my favourite examples of double kick pedals ever. Shannon Lucas is militant and linear in his patterns whilst still adding in kicks and fills to well advance the ¾ time signature of the song.

‘Widowmaker’ off 2017’s ‘Nightbringers’ made a dramatic impact with it’s shredding but subdued introduction before it turned into a blast beat frenzy. It was actually at this point that I realised the similarities between The Black Dahlia Murder and Cradle of Filth. The vocal range of Strand and how it juxtaposes between extreme lows and highs merged with the extreme faced paced yet melodic riffs.

To finish off the lads performed inside a church (that would have been a hard one to organise) to soundtrack hits off their newest album ‘Verminous.’ A title track which again deserves mention due to its incredible intricate kick drum and hi-hat patterns.

I’m not sure if there will be another chance to access ‘Yule ‘Em All’ or if it was just a one-off event. But, if you get the chance, watch it. Sure, you might have to put up with some lame skits in between songs but the setlist in itself is truly all a Black Dahlia fan could ask for.