I would fight anyone who hates on The Black Dahlia Murder, they are my favorite death metal band on this wretched planet. After nearly two decades worth of experience, they continue to plant seeds of terror across the world. The first song off of the upcoming album, the title track Verminous lends itself as the perfect introduction to another sick creation from these veteran musicians.
Echoes of squeaks and drippings of water and other possible fluids, the first few seconds immerses me into the album art, which as always, is beautifully haunting with a simple color scheme.
Next thing I know, I get thrust into blast beat city with methodically melodic guitar riffs and ominous bass sounds lurking behind. Complexity is The Black Dahlia’s forte, especially in guitar work. Slides, pull-offs, and string bends come in left and right for a slick sound from Brandon Ellis and Brian Eschbach, who are on top of their game before any vocals enter the mix.
Right before vocalist Trevor Strnad comes in, the rest of the band smacks in punches in unison for an explosive entrance for their wicked screamer. The speed of the instrumentation is a constant high but does not overwhelm the story-driven lyrics that Strnad is known to write. Even he does not overdo it as in between lines, a brief pause lets everything breathe.
The structure in this genre can follow the basic formula of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, with sometimes a pre-chorus and bridge to mix things up. With some repetition coming in, much of Verminous keeps moving forward without looking back. A disturbing narrative with rats and other creatures that will make you squirm crawl all over this classic TBDM song.
A must in anything that these metalheads create is a solo that bangs and thrashes while having a sophisticated manner despite all of the chaos surrounding it. Ellis nailed it on the last record, Nightbringers, and continues to do so in a short session.
Sure, they have a formula, and the first single released since 2017 follows their established sound. Some bands do this, and it gets boring, but The Black Dahlia Murder are masters at what they do, and Verminous is a prime example of how to continue one thing, and do it right. Supposedly some experimentation will get thrown in, so I am ready to hear what they have cooking in that vile cauldron on theirs.
What do you think of the new song? Let me know in the comments.
Verminous releases on April 17.
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Image via Metal Blade Records