(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by The Black Dahlia Murder, due for release on April 17th by Metal Blade Records.)
If I were forced to select one word to describe The Black Dahlia Murder’s particular brand of high-stakes, high-adrenaline Death Metal that word would undoubtedly be… anthemic.
After all, one of the band’s defining features has always been their ability to conjure up a seemingly endless series of contagious, crowd-friendly choruses and red-hot hooks to balance out their molten metallic mayhem, with much of this burden often falling to lunatic-larynxed frontman Trevor Strnad, whose distinctive delivery – part predatory preacher, part Death Metal drill sergeant, part crazed carnival barker – is an inimitable part of the group’s sound.
The band’s last album, 2017’s superb Nightbringers, in many ways felt like the apotheosis of this, with songs such as “Kings of the Nightworld” and the titanic title track featuring some of the catchiest, most bombastic material the group have ever written.
The thing is… once you’ve peaked like that, there’s almost nowhere to go but down. So the big question now is whether or not Verminous is going to be a victim of the band’s success, or whether the gang have found a way to escape the curse of diminishing returns…