The Black Dahlia Murder, Verminous Review (Metal Blade Records, 2020)

The Black Dahlia Murder come out screaming on their new release, Verminous, the first full-length album from the band in three years and an excellent follow-up to 2017’s Nightbringers.

The Black Dahlia Murder is one of those bands whose name you are always excited to see on the lineup at a festival because you know they are going to be on top of their game and, wherever they are in the lineup, they will put on an amazing show. They made a big entrance with Unhallowed in 2003, and since then the band has released a new album every couple of years, on average. They have all been good, and eagerly anticipated by fans. Nightbringers was particularly sharp and fresh, integrating new ideas to grow the beast in innovative directions. It was natural to wonder what would happen with the new one – would it be a new season, another growth year? In a word: yes.

Verminous has a stadium-filling sound. Trevor Strnad’s voice is as strong and gruff as ever, and it encourages listeners to join in on the fray. The opening salvo is the title song and it is a race to the edge of the cliff – it is like turning on the engine and revving it up for about a minute before letting it rip. As you go along on the ride through the album, the scenery changes but the metal never fades away. “Removal Of The Oaken Stake” has soaring gothic guitar refrains that give you a feeling like you are surrounded by ancient stone, while “How Very Dead” is a late-night horror show filled with dramatic shocks and dripping blood. The percussion is furious and relentlessly pounding throughout, and the guitars are full force heavy in the rhythm while the leads are both piercing and melodic in turns, with the occasional nostalgic callback. “Dawn of Rats” is the closer, and it brings the set to a thundering climax. It starts with this, “Blood of our revenge awash / None sweeter to the taste / Flagellate the liar / Our verminous desire it must be;” and ends with this, “Did he toast with you / To their innocence / So fleeting and so sweet / The dawn has come of your defeat / We the rats must have our feast.” This album is destined to be a fan favorite for the next decade.

Verminous is out today, April 17, 2020, on Metal Blade Records and streaming in all the places you usually listen so lend it your ears. The Black Dahlia Murder is on an upward trajectory with this new one. Highly recommended.


The Black Dahlia Murder, Verminous Review (Metal Blade Records, 2020)