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PRE-ORDER - The Black Dahlia Murder 'Servitude' LP 'Ephemeral' Steel Blue Marbled Vinyl Box Set - RELEASE DATE 27th September 2024

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“Before the tragedy, no one ever thought this band was going to exist without Trevor.”

That’s The Black Dahlia Murder’s co-founder Brian Eschbach telling it like it is. With the tragic passing of TBDM’s frontman and co-founder Trevor Strnad in 2022, Eschbach, bassist Max Lavelle, drummer Alan Cassidy and producer/guitarist Brandon Ellis were faced with a decision: Close the door on one of the most beloved death metal bands of the last 20 years, or carry on in their fallen brother’s charismatic spirit?

“Everyone that’s in the band now is someone that Trevor and I searched for,” Eschbach says. “We spent so much time on the road together that everyone understands the mission statement. We don’t really need to talk about it. We just need to make great music and try to make people happy playing it.”

After a period of profound grief and deep soul-searching, Eschbach moved from guitar to vocals, setting aside his lifelong identity as a live guitarist for the survival of the band. Former TBDM member Ryan Knight returned to the fold to take Eschbach’s place on guitar. The new lineup made their debut in TBDM’s hometown of Detroit in late October 2022 for a tribute show for Strnad.

Fast forward to right about now: The Black Dahlia Murder’s new album is the one that many would have thought impossible. 'Servitude', the band’s tenth full-length, marks Eschbach’s recorded debut as TBDM’s lead vocalist and lyricist—and their first with Knight on guitar since 2015’s 'Abysmal'.

“I just had to lean into it hard,” Eschbach says of approaching 'Servitude' in a completely new role. “Honestly, writing the lyrics for this album was easier for me than writing the music for the three songs that I wrote music for. I’d pick a subject, research it, and just kinda dive in. Even though it’s not something I’d really ever done before, there was a natural flow to it once I started.”

You can hear the thrilling results on “Aftermath,” the ripping lead single, which envisions a post-apocalyptic cannibal scenario. “We wanted that one to be heard first because it’s one of the faster songs on the album, if not the fastest,” Eschbach says. “We wanted that very aggressive Black Dahlia melodic death metal feel coming right at you. Lyrically, it’s about a meteor that fucks up the whole planet, but there’s still people living. Kind of like The Walking Dead, but with no zombies—so you get right to how people deal with it. And by the end, they’re eating each other.”

Second single “Mammoth’s Hand” is a slower, groove-driven song partly inspired by a scene from Don Coscarelli’s 1982 swords n’ sorcery epic, The Beastmaster. “We usually like to give some idea of what kind of diversity is gonna be on the album with the first two tracks we release,” Eschbach offers. “Ryan Knight wrote the music for this, and the slow rhythm made me think of these barbaric warriors riding mammoths out in the snow or that scene from The Beastmaster when the Jun horde takes the village.”

The album’s third single, “Panic Hysteria,” is a very modern, classic TBDM waltz in the time-honored Swedish style. “It’s actually about rock n’ roll,” Eschbach explains. “I was reading quotes from Frank Sinatra, who really didn’t like rock n’ roll, and was pretty eloquent about it. I quoted him a couple of times in the song. That was a fun Sunday writing those lyrics. I’m not gonna lie—vodkas and Shirley Temples were involved.”

The members of The Black Dahlia Murder know that some will be skeptical of an album without Trevor’s inimitable presence. But many fans have already embraced the band’s decision to move forward. “More than pressures or expectations from the fanbase, I feel their trust and support,” Ellis says. “We've always done what we do for them, and they've appreciated our consistency over the years. The global outcry following Trevor's passing has shown us how important the band's music has been to so many people, and how important it is that we continue in his honor. Under all that weight, I think we all knew what needed to be done.”

“We put in everything we had, and this is the album that felt right to make,” he adds. “I'm proud of it and proud of the five of us. You can never please everybody, but I know that this music will be a healing and positive force for those who embrace it!”

The guitars, bass and vocals for Servitude were recorded at Ellis’ home studio in New Jersey. The drums were recorded by Mark Lewis in Nashville, where Ellis and Lewis also mixed the album. 'Servitude' was mastered by Ted Jensen.

“Following Trevor’s legacy, 'Servitude' of course marks the beginning of a new era of The Black Dahlia Murder,” Ellis says. “With Brian now taking up the torch, his personality as an inspired lyricist and vocalist shines bright—he knows well what the music needs. Ryan Knight's return to the band adds a third but familiar guitarist to the writing team, as well as allowing for a twin lead guitar element that the band never previously had. This all opens new terrain creatively. Where some doors have closed, new doors have opened.”


Brian Eschbach – lead vocals (2022–present), rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2001–2022)

Max Lavelle – bass (2012–present)

Alan Cassidy – drums (2012–present)

Brandon Ellis – lead guitar, backing vocals (2016–present)

Ryan Knight – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2022–present), lead guitar (2009–2016)


Limited 'Ephemeral' steel blue marbled vinyl box set pressing, includes bonus 12" with etched B-side, slipmat, headband, sticker and patch

*Please note - product is a mock up only, actual colours and contents may vary on finished product*


Side A:

1. Evening Ephemeral

2. Panic Hysteric

3. Aftermath

4. Cursed Creator

5. An Intermission

6. Asserting Dominion

Side B:

7. Servitude

8. Mammoth's Hand

9. Transcosmic Blueprint

10. Utopia Black

Bonus 12":

1. Funeral Thirst (Live)

2. Everything Went Black (Live)

3. Deathmask Divine (Live)