Detroit's Black Dahlia Murder knew it "had to step it up a notch" in making its latest album, "Everblack."
Guitarist Ryan Knight says that 2011's "Ritual," a Top 10 hit on both the Hard Rock and Independent Albums charts -- as well as BDM's highest Billboard 200 entry at No. 31 -- "was a pretty intimidating album to have to follow. A lot of people really liked that one and it did well, so it set a pretty high standard.
"This time we wanted to make an album that was, I think, dark overall and further expand what we've been trying to do in the past. We weren't trying to be better than ('Ritual'), but it gave us something to shoot for."
"Everblack" brought in some changes for the band as well -- including a new rhythm section of bassist Max Lavelle and drummer Alan Cassidy. Interestingly, however, Lavelle's predecessor, Ryan "Bart" Williams, stayed on board to co-produce "Everblack," at studios in Royal Oak and Orlando, Fla., though Knight, 30, says it was a comfortable situation.
"We toured with Ryan and lived with that guy for years," Knight says, "so having him come back, even though he's not in the band anymore...When he's around it's almost like he never left. He's always been the guy with the best ears and knows more about the (studio) stuff than we do.
"So having him come in was really good. It was like having him back in the band, just doing a different job."
Black Dahlia Murder, Suicide Machines, Wilson, Mustard Plug and more perform at Black Christmas on Friday, Dec. 27, in the Majestic Complex, 4120-4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the first 500, $25 after that. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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