Franchises can be a very two-sided affair. On the one hand, you know what you’ll get, and on the other hand you’ll know what you get (no surprises obviously). The good ones put in a twist with every new release, a little bit of fresh air, the bad ones just repeat the same idea over and over again until no one cares for them anymore.
Anyone who has read one of my reviews knows that I am a fan of horror movies. “Tales from the Crypt“ is a franchise I like very much. “Tales from the Crypt“ and the Black Dahlia Murder have a lot in common when it comes to their discography. The Black Dahlia Murder is my favorite franchise when it comes to Death Metal. Every two years (this is the first time it took three years) the band releases a great record. Every record had a certain feel to it and there was no record that repeated the predecessor, be it the sound or the theme. The only thing all album have in common is that the album name ALWAYS consists of one word with three syllables.
And that’s where my comparison comes into play. Every „Tales-Movie“ consists of several small stories with different topics, but all of them are told by the “Cryptkeeper“ and have a dark twist. I imagine Trevor Strnad (singer) as the cryptkeeper who tells his horror stories with every album they release.
Verminous is the second album with the same line-up and it shows that the band harmonizes (what an odd word in this context) even better than on Nightbringers. Verminous is maybe the most diverse album of the band. You got fast-paced ones („Godlessly“, „How very dead“), midempo-madness („Child of Night“…at times) and the epic-melodic-death-metal masterpieces the Black Dahlia Murder is known for („The Wereworm‘s Feast“, „Dawn of Rats“).
The production is as good as ever. Every instrument has its space and can be heard. This record sounds huge without sounding clinical.
Considering that this is the ninth album, TBDM sound as fresh as ever. The Black Dahlia Murder are a shining example of a great musical “franchise“. Even though there were a lot of changes within the band, every coming and going member contributed / contributes new impulses that keep this band on top of the Melodic Death Metal genre. Verminous offers 35 great minutes of new horror stories you can bang your head to and makes the waiting for the tour even harder.
8 / 10
“The Wereworm‘s Feast”
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist 2020.