The Black Dahlia Murder
Verminous


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (296 Reviews)
April 17th, 2020 | 116 replies


Release Date: 04/17/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band's ninth full-length shows no signs of giving up.

When a death metal band is nine albums into their career, generally there's an expectation that consistency will have dwindled and creativity has saturated into a state of stagnation. Not for The Black Dahlia Murder, who seem to be getting stronger and stronger with every release. It seems hard to conceive that the band have been around now for nigh on two decades, yet even with that knowledge you feel Trevor Strnad and co. are just getting started. The Black Dahlia Murder is ultimately one of the more consistent groups in the world of death metal, and latest album Verminous is only more proof to back such a statement up.

The band's ninth full-length in no way shows signs of giving up. Sure, it slows down in the second half but doesn't ever give you the impression TBDM are being lenient in their performance. The opening title track is a riveting listen, speedy and menacing as we all expected but also sharply precise thanks to those note-perfect changes from one part of the song to the next. Strnad as usual goes the extra mile to stretch his vocal work beyond limitations, seething screams and bloodied gargles portraying a vocalist clearly at the top of his game. “Godlessly” is initially similar to its predecessor but demonstrates more of a melodious and ambitious affair, the guitar work aspiring to creative heights as it spirals into technical flair with as little OTT as is needed for such a sound. It's here where all band members seem to be playing out of their collective skulls. The pace is still frenzied but allows room form the instrumentation to settle down, and though this is only apparent during that well-refined solo section, it's well-placed and certainly demonstrates maturity.

The album's second half seems somewhat worn out compared to those first five songs, but not necessarily in a bad way. Although “The Leather Apron's Scorn” barely moves from its initial descent into a doomier death metal soundscape and “The Wereworm's Feast” has a bit too much horror storytelling to be taken seriously, both songs maintain a confident instrumental presence to ensure the listener's attention is on the advantages rather than the disadvantages. That said, Strnad's neverending vocal force is one to be reckoned with, and he injects a hell of a lot more excitement into this album than most other death metal groups. One thing that does turn out to be a bit of a downer for the album however is that the general change of pace from “Sunless Empire” to “The Leather Apron's Scorn” seems a bit jagged, though really this may be a song placement issue than anything else. Even if you think the tension is lifted a little in the second half of the album, closer “Dawn of Rats” brings that crushing TBDM sound back to the forefront and ensures Verminous finishes on a memorable high.

It would be remiss to say that The Black Dahlia Murder are past their best, and though the question of the band's best era continue to divide fans, everyone can surely be grateful that 9 albums and two decades into their career, they still manage to sound as fresh and as full of beans as they were when forming back in 2001. They've certainly done the job on Verminous, and then some.




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user ratings (224)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
blou52 (4)
Children of the night, blast fiends unite!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2020


2634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

c/c welcome as always.



Finally getting a review out for the first time since my country's lockdown, it feels like an eternity.

Digging: VoidCeremony - Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional...

Ziggity
April 17th 2020


707 Comments


Good review, haven’t gotten into their past few albums much but I’ll check this one out.

parksungjoon
April 17th 2020


20842 Comments


need to come back to this band, theyve always been fun to me

sweet writeup as always linguist!

Rowhaus
April 17th 2020


3440 Comments


Awesome band indeed

Digging: Hum - Inlet

EJinHD
April 17th 2020


126 Comments


Wait I thought this was their 9th album

YuriZakhaev
April 17th 2020


653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The guitar work on their albums since Ellis joined has been on-POINT every single time; he's legitimately one of the cleanest and tightest players I've seen, especially live.

TetraVaal
April 17th 2020


192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This may be my favorite album of theirs.



Ellis is definitely a beast. I love the solos on 'Sunless Empire' and 'The Wereworm's Feast'.



Couldn't be any happier with this release.

metalhead2425
April 17th 2020


349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've never been too into this band, but this album is pretty good. I may have to check out more of their stuff.

parksungjoon
April 17th 2020


20842 Comments


ritual and nocturnal were my favs i do remember. though ive not heard the two between everblack and this

brainmelter
April 17th 2020


7078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Wait I thought this was their 9th album[2]

Nowhere near their best albums but it is better than Nightbringers



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DungeonBoy
April 17th 2020


7816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album rules, good review

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NoHellsNoHeavens
April 17th 2020


167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ALBUM RULLLLEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Digging: Descend - The Deviant

Scoot
April 17th 2020


19930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nocturnal is easily their best

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DungeonBoy
April 17th 2020


7816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's a good album

Itwasthatwas
April 17th 2020


2887 Comments


most 3.5-able band of all time

parksungjoon
April 17th 2020


20842 Comments


enviable consistency some would say

Itwasthatwas
April 17th 2020


2887 Comments


no doubt

0GuyMan0
April 17th 2020


3050 Comments


Album slays. Brandon is the best thing that could have happened to them.

Source
April 17th 2020


18164 Comments


laefs cover ripoff

JayEnder
April 17th 2020


7280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Last three tracks are hnnnnng



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