The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous (Album Review)

The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Released: April 17th, 2020

The Black Dahlia Murder lineup:

Trevor Strnad // Vocals
Brian Eschbach // Guitar
Max Lavelle // Bass
Alan Cassidy // Drums
Brandon Ellis // Guitar

The Black Dahlia Murder Online:

Let me ask you a question.

What makes a good death metal album?

Would you say it’s the lyrical content? Or the way in which the guitar work takes you by the throat and chokes the very life out of you, until your eyeballs burst and you bleed out on the floor? Maybe it’s just all of the above?

Well whatever it is, The Black Dahlia Murder have it and with the release of their ninth studio album Verminous they are once again proving to you why they are one of the most popular bands in this genre.

According to the press release, Verminous is supposed to be a nudge in a new direction for The Black Dahlia Murder.

However, I would argue it’s less a reinvention and more of a refinement of what makes them so uniquely themselves. Take the opening title-track of the album, which is very much a traditional Black Dahlia song with a more melodic slant. This song is going to be absolutely massive in their live show and opens this album with a sledgehammer to the face, leaving your broken face pissing out blood on the floor.

Indeed, it’s the melodic elements that break this away from a more traditional Black Dahlia album. These elements have an almost European feel. Reminiscent of early Arch Enemy almost. Whether it’s in the way the songs have solos or just in the way the melodic guitars caress the vocals. It’s actually quite glorious and suits the band quite well, who lose none of their ferocity.

The mix in particular is the real winner here as it gives songs such as ‘Removal of the Oaken Stake’ and ‘Child of the Night’ the room to really take in all the technical aspects of their music and it really places a greater emphasis on the eerily tuneful devastation that these songs reap upon you.

Don’t worry though.  The album is not afraid to go extremely heavy when it feels like it. ‘How Very Dead’  is the kind of song that will make you feel as if you’re being eaten alive from the inside out, until your chest bursts open and darkness pours out and the final song ‘Dawn of Rats’ brings it all together for one final foray into destruction, as it drags you down into the abyss and chokes you until you’ve got nothing left to give.

This album is easily the best thing The Black Dahlia Murder have done since Everblack. Verminous is the melodic death metal album this band has always threatened to make and is a refinement of everything that ever made them great in the first place. This is sure to go over well with fans new and old and I can’t wait to see where the band goes next.


The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous tracklisting:

  1. Verminous
  2. Godlessly
  3. Removal of the Oaken Stake
  4. Child of Night
  5. Sunless Empire
  6. The Leather Apron’s Scorn
  7. How Very Dead
  8. The Wereworm’s Feast
  9. A Womb in Dark Chrysalis (Interlude)
  10. Dawn of Rats

Rating: 8/10
Verminous is out this Friday via Metal Blade Records. Pre-Order Here
Reviewed By: Kaydan Howison

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About KaydanHowison (170 Articles)
Final year university student in journalism, part time photographer and writer for Wall of Sound. Primarily here to make you cry and tell it how I see it.