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Murder By Death ‘Big, Dark Love’ Album Review by Vincent Daemon



Label: Bloodshade

Release Date: February 2, 2015

MURDER BY DEATH are: Adam Turla – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards (since 2000) Matt Armstrong – bass (since 2000) Sarah Balliet – cello, keyboards (since 2000) Dagan Thogerson – drums, percussion (since 2007) David Fountain – piano, percussion, mandolin, banjo, backing vocals (since 2013)


MURDER BY DEATH has been around since 2000. That’s no short amount of time. I’ve heard of them for years, but never heard them. To be honest, by their name alone, I assumed they were some kind of tough-guy hardcore-metal. You know, heartless, passionless crap I for the most part loathe. Like a PANTERA clone or some shit. *(Honestly, it’s not like the name does not give one that impression – – – am I wrong?).

Well, here the Android Virus has bestowed upon me a rare and unique article of aural darkness – – – a gift almost – – – of a unique sort. This is something different, a true passion and brutal honesty, personal darknesses that certain souls experience all too frequently – – – these are songs for them *(us?).

As you can probably tell from the instruments involved, this is something very, very different. I guess it *(quite unfortunately) falls under “indie rock,” but it is far from that. In fact, forget I even mentioned that dreadful fukking meaningless term, it may only taint your perception of just what you’re getting into. Fukk Genre Labeling, it just is not applicable here. The best way to describe the sound is almost like an Appalachian folk-punk in sound, passion, and at times even fury – – – these guys can play. There are elements of bluegrass, delta-blues, memphis rock, and sounds I’ve just not encountered before, played with a true and absolute creativity and power. Then, there is the lyrical content; it is not light-weight, and hits very close to home.

There is a sweeping, bitter darkness, that swirls throughout the album as those lyrics intertwine with the layers of music itself. Lost love, grief, fully realized existential loneliness, “It Will Never Die,” *(possibly my personal favorite track, but see below) displaying this best in an epic grandiosity of sonic build, and chord structures that truly aurally hit that which we *(well, anyone with a half-decent soul) all feel at times, stabbing and wrenching into the gut with a completely unflinching truth and all the twisting surreal cruelty of what we perceive to be reality.

Without being remotely silly, or even necessarily supernatural (though that element is most hauntingly present throughout), this hits on deep pangs of truth and sorrow, of that nature of standing between the veils, being caught between circumstance and those dark hollows of midnight thickets of misjudgements and opportunities failed  passed, at times hits pure melancholia. It is absolutely beautiful, and utterly devastating, often at the same time and in equal measure. “Big Dark Love” is another genreless builder of pain-storm, with an amazing and intense, keyboard finale; “Send Me Home” is a bit softer, about guilt, gods, unanswered prayers and suicidal ideations; “Last Thing,” an upbeat (in music only) tune about the personal guilt of having lived too much pain and guilt and feeling like human baggage (heh), forever haunted by the terror of being a “living chore”; “Hunted,” the albums closer, (and having and interestingly KING DUDE vibe about it, as a couple of tracks toward the album’s end seem to), hits the absolute bottoms of painful acceptance that the album itself has been building to, leaving an almost maddening open-ending by the absence of one note, no true closure, the full and final (painfully truthful) message then quite loud clear *(for those who care to LISTEN).

Support This Band – buy the fukking album you cheap bastard:

MP3 Version:

CD Version:

Check them out at the following spots as well


Vincent Daemon, writer and rabblerouser, can be followed on FB @ , and join his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind @ 

About vincentdaemon (109 Articles)
Writer of the weird and macabre; columnist for The Intestinal Fortitude; film and music critic and historian/buff; musician; visual artist; photographer; bibliophile/book collector; student of the bizarre, the occult, cryptozoology (and related topics); liver of life and the necessity of experience; loather of ignorance; seeker of knowledge; believer that we need to work together to achieve our common goals.

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