Another great release from the American death metal band
With seven of their last eight albums placing on the U.S. Billboard 200, The Black Dahlia Murder have a lot to live up to in terms of producing quality music. Their latest album, Verminous, continues the American death metal band’s successful ride with another great album full of Trevor Strnad’s recognizable voice, and badass guitar playing from Brandon Ellis, Brian Eschabach and Max Lavelle. Each member brings so much talent to their work, but Ellis, the lead guitarist, really steals the show on this album and the guitar playing shines in many songs.
The opening track and album track name (“Verminous”) sets the vibe for the rest of the album and lets listeners know they are in for another treat. The beginning starts with the sound of an underground tunnel that fits with the atmosphere of the album, from the cover art to the finisher “Dawn of Rats.” “Godlessly,” the second track, continues on with the same energy established in the first song.
One of the earlier tracks that stands out is “Removal of the Oaken Stake” due to the engaging drum and guitar playing. At the beginning and end of this song, fans experience the prowess of Alan Csssidy and Ellis. The last minute really makes these instruments shine. With that being said, there are other tracks in which Ellis’ guitar skills standout and command attention. “Child of Night” falls in line with the aforementioned song in that fact that near the end there is a period without lyrics in which the guitar is at the forefront.
“Sunrise Empire” is the ultimate guitar appreciation song though. With crazy shredding, a kick-ass guitar solo and just overall great skills, people can feel the power behind Ellis’ playing. “A Womb in Dark Chrysalis (Interlude)” stands out for the fact that it is the shortest track at just under a minute, but also because it is all acoustic guitar. While it is meant to create a lull as people transition to the final track, it disrupts the preceding flow established. Going from “A Wereworm’s Feast” straight into “Dawn of Rats” would have kept the same tone and it matches the tone of the rest of the album.
Overall, The Black Dahlia Murder delivers another solid album with Verminous. Returning fans will be pleased and new people stumbling onto the band will find themselves searching their discography. Besides the disruption that “A Womb in Dark Chrysalis (Interlude)” creates, the band continues to prove that they are consistent and reliable with coming out with good music.