When you name your band after the grisliest unsolved murder in Hollywood history, you’re basically making a pact with your audience. You’re assuring them that you’ll never record a power ballad, that you’ll never write a sentimental song about your kid, and that you’ll maintain your commitment to the darkest, most evil form of heavy metal imaginable.
Without a doubt, the Black Dahlia Murder has lived up to that commitment. The Michigan death-metal band knows only two speeds: super-fast and faster. And their adrenalized songs delight in horror-movie dreamscapes, with vocalist (is it an exaggeration to call him a singer?) Trevor Strnad screaming and growling like Satan’s got a pitchfork up his backside.
Aside from Strnad’s method-acting dementia, the most impressive part of this band is the on-the-money 16th-note hi-hat work from drummer Shannon Lucas, which can be heard on the breakneck madness of “Everything Went Black,” among other tunes.
If you have trouble discerning the musical differences between “Funeral Thirst” and “Statutory Ape,” don’t worry. This band is about cumulative force, not individual moments. They play metal with no apologies and no concessions, just as you’d expect from a group called the Black Dahlia Murder. With 3 Inches of Blood, Hate Eternal, and Decrepit Birth. 8pm Sun, Jan 27, $15 (advance); $17 (day of show), White Rabbit, 2410 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 737-2221
— Gilbert Garcia