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The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous Award winner

The Black Dahlia Murder
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 22 April 2020, 2:34 AM

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER return after the 2017 release of Nightbringers to bring us this album. These guys have kept up the solid efforts in the realms of Melo Death, so I’m hoping for not too many shocks, but more great songs to ad to their back catalogue

Verminous” wastes little time in getting into the song, a slow build up breaks away almost instantly to be replaced by a steadily growing melodies that picks up pace/ Once the vocals kick in, the pace gets higher and harmonizes into full instrumental melodies. A slick riff is introduced to really kick the beat into the song, it flirts with us as the vocals return adding further aggression, it works really well.  The way they build up the melodies is amazing, its effortless for the band who have been together 19 years. Great start to the album.

Godlessly” continues the assault, maybe has even more aggression, no issues with that at all. The harmonies in this are amazing, they seem to have bit the tempo up to boiling point and are still throwing twists and turns into the harmonies to take the song multiple ways, it shows a great maturity as a band. It is just a frenzied, full-throttle song that will keep heads banging.

Removal of the Oaken Stake” slows things down, slightly. It has more of a technical build up without too many tricks, just building it up nicely. Still, they are not slowing down too much, making the song fly through the gears, filling our ears with more brilliant noises that harmonize perfectly. Aggressive vocals help to break the song into segments so you can hear each member and their talents, this is a gift.

Child of Night” is more of a technical starter again, but more tricks than “Removal of the Oaken Stake”, which works to make the song seem heavier, if it’s even possible. The harmonies blend together perfectly to embrace all the elements and enhance the song. This is another song that points how skilled and close these guys are. It is molding into a mid-album masterpiece. This is turning into a fantastic album.

Sunless Empire” is creeping in, the slight intro raises the volume from a silent instrumental to a full-blown band harmony. The song is a bit slower than some of the other songs, but change is good, the vocals are sharper and run far more fluidly, although it is not what we are used to hearing. It has more of a ballad feel to it, but it is beautiful how the riffs rake away all concentration to anything else. This is a fucking masterpiece.

The Leather Apron's Scorn” brings the pace back to what we are used to. It has a very catchy beat, ticking over nicely without pulling up trees. This will still get heads banging to the more Death Metal feel, the riffs kick in towards the end, to more Technical styles, which makes the song go up on the scales, these changes take a standard song and turn it awesome.

How Very Dead” is more Thrash styles like you would hear from KREATOR as far as instrumentals go, which is only praise. It has a good beat, and doesn’t feel like it will change too much, but what we are hearing works well as amid-album song not slowing down too much towards the end, but adding solos to let us admire and catch our breath.

The Wereworm's Feast” returns to more Melo Death, with a bit of Power Metal as a starter like 3 INCHES OF BLOOD used to do, miss those guys. This one has still not quite got the pace as the opening side of the album, sure has the skills. The solos run riot once more, picking the pace up and easily take the song into new heights we may not have expected, it is an old school Melo Death style, done flawlessly.

Dawn of Rats” is final song as gets the heavier styles back, which works to pick up pace and harmonies. It feels like it is constantly building the pace and tempo, though it remains well-balanced. This is a strong end to the album, it keeps things going, adds a nice touch to a brilliant album.

This is one of the best Melo Death albums in years, and TBDM’s best album, as a whole in years. It shows a masterful band doing what they love and turning out a masterpiece. 10/10 does not do it justice.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

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
Trevor Strnad – Lead Vocals
Brian Eschbach – Guitars
Max Lavelle – Bass Guitar
Brandon Ellis – Guitars
Alan Cassidy – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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