There are simply not enough words to say about the passing of The Black Dahlia Murder vocalist Trevor Strnad. The man was a modern metal legend whose legacy will stand tall enough to shatter the clouds for decades to come, and whose knowledge of metal was simply unparalleled. We’ve already taken a look at some of Strnad‘s crushing guest spots, and now we’re taking a look at some of their killer covers and bonus tracks that deserve more love.
“Paint It Black” – The Cold-Blooded Epitaph (2002)
Maybe not the best representation of The Black Dahlia Murder, but this one always holds a special place in my heart. Personally, I got into The Black Dahlia Murder when a kid I played in a “band” (read as – dickhead teenagers making noise in the drummer’s parents’ basement) burnt my Unhallowed. He included this song at the end and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Honestly, I still get down to it.
“Seppuku” – Everblack (2013)
I have no idea if it was intentional that The Black Dahlia Murder made “Seppuku” the sole Japanese bonus track for their Everblack album, but I like to think it was. Musically, the song starts off a little slower with a very sludgy feel, but ultimately becomes just as savage as anything else found on Everblack. Much like everything relegated to bonus track status by The Black Dahlia Murdereveryone needs to hear this.
“Ripped Up” / “Rebel Without A Car” / “Populous” – Grind ‘Em All (2014)
Grind ‘Em All was a 7 “released by A389 Recordings in 2014, and frankly deserves more love. Grind ‘Em All ran a whopping 201 seconds long and covered “Ripped Up” by Left For Dead“” Rebel Without A Car “by Seditionand “Populous” by Gyga. It’s a release that’ll run by you faster than you know what the hell hit you, but it’ll kick your ass harder than harder in that short amount of time. And yes – this is three covers instead of one. But are we really going to split these up?
“We Dead Are Best Left Underground” – Abysmal (2015)
The Black Dahlia Murder basically had a small EP tacked on certain editions to Nightbringers – the longer song we’re about to talk about, along with the shorter “Hellion” and “Der Ton.” “We Dead Are Best Left Underground” wastes zero time in showcasing its insane lead guitar work, and then continues to beat you into the ground until you too are as underground as the proverbial dead.
“Hellion” – Abysmal (2015)
“Hellion” feels very much like “Den of the Picquerist” from Ritual – an album hardcore punk-type song that rips right through its runtime and then disappears back into the fiery void. “Hellion” follows “We Dead Are the Best Left Underground” in the bonus tracks, making for a much shorter and more brutal experience than its predecessor.
“Der Ton” – Abysmal (2015)
“Der Ton” rounds out the Abysmal bonus tracks in an incredible way, and solidifies the case for being its own small EP. “Der Ton” runs only a little longer than “Hellion,” but forgoes the hardcore punk route and veers hard into the melodic death metal territory. The song shreds until the wheels fall almost literally – the ending few seconds is what sounds like someone knocking over a drum kit.
“Gone But Not Forgotten” – Nightbringers (2017)
The dissonant guitar melodies and almost Tomas Lindberg-esque vocals toward the middle give this song a real churning, horrifying quality. Prior to being a bonus track on Nightbringers, “Gone But Not Forgotten” was an exclusive track to the New Noise Flexi Collection series. Of all the bonus tracks, this might be the one you’ve heard prior.
“This Mortal Coil” – Nightbringers (2017)
Much like Abysmal, Nightbringers had a handful of bonus tracks. Difference being these were a combination of originals, covers, and live versions. First up is the band’s crushing cover of Carcass‘1993 track “This Mortal Coil,” which felt very much like a “no shit” moment – of course The Black Dahlia Murder could bring the heat to a Heartwork track. And boy did they.
“The Swarm” – Nightbringers (2017)
The same said about the above Carcass cover can be said about this At The Gates cover. I’d say it’s pretty cool that the band chose a song off the 1994 release Terminal Spirit Disease instead of going for a Slaughter Of The Soul classic, but of course they did. Strnad and The Black Dahlia Murder knew their death metal like the back of their hand, and a good choise of a cover isn’t at all shocking.
“Their Thwarted Patience” – Verminous (2020)
No patience required for this one – just over one minute of pure, grinding The Black Dahlia Murder here to kick your ass into another dimension. Not that this couldn’t be said for every other bonus track and rarity mentioned throughout this list (and all the other ones not mentioned), but I do we need an official compilation of this stuff. It’s just too good.
“Go To Hell” – Verminous (2020)
I remember first seeing that The Black Dahlia Murder covered Megadeth‘s “Go To Hell” from the 1991 soundtrack for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and being extremely curious about how that would go. Then I heard it and listed it about a thousand times, because holy hell – this rules. Strnad‘s take on the vocals absolutely kill and the band sounds phenomenal.
“Saber The Dog Theme” – Verminous (2020)
Another melo-death-heavy track, this time with a fun story behind it! “Saber The Dog, he’s flying to save us all!” said the band on Twitter last year. “Our fictional anime theme was so convincing our drummer Alan thought it was a cover of a previously existing theme from an actual show and sought it out on the web to no avail. Also, it’s about Brandon’s dog. “
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