BravePicks 2020 - THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER's Verminous #20

December 12, 2020, 10 months ago

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BravePicks 2020 - THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER's Verminous #20

If there was any year that music was a true saviour, it was 2020. The ultimate diversion, as the world sits in virtual stagnation waiting anxiously for a fix. We will keep it brief here with the COVID commentary. Let’s let the music speak for itself. It is time to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2020 each day in December! 

Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2021? and Metal Predictions For 2021. Sadly no concerts. But all will be showcased come the New Year!

This virus can go to hell! Let’s let the Top 30 releases of 2020 rock your world!

BravePicks 2020

20) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER - Verminous (Metal Blade)

Death metal brigade The Black Dahlia Murder pull no punches with Verminous. A more intricate recording experience, the New Jersey squad put together their most dynamic album to date, filled with quick strikes and pummeling noise that wraps up in a tight 36 minutes. The grimy and dirty Verminous begins the top 20 of our countdown. 

"I think this is the biggest evolutionary leap we've ever taken from one album to the next. We stoked the creative fires with 2017's 'Nightbringers' and it's gone much further now in Verminous," states Trevor Strnad. "It's a very colorful, moody, and charismatic album that experiments with new sounds and ideas without losing the cutthroat Black Dahlia edge. There is a lot of minutiae to digest. Plenty of delicious little Easter eggs woven into the fabric of each song. Each one is a living, breathing entity that will stand on its own as some of the best music this band has ever created."

While the drums were recorded at The Pipeyard in Plymouth, Michigan by ex-bassist and longtime studio guru Ryan "Bart" Williams, the bulk of the album was recorded in New Jersey at guitarist Brandon Ellis' home studio, the Shred Light District, then mixed by Tue Madsen and mastered by Alan Douches. Produced by Ellis and the band, Verminous sees Black Dahlia having a greater level of control over every facet of recording than on any previous release, enabling them to tweak and fine-tune all the small details right up until the point they sent it to Madsen in Denmark. "To say we were anal-retentive would be an understatement. Tue did an outstanding job. His mix is organic. Classic sounding. Not too slick. It's got an old school 'real life' feel to it rather than being the overly polished quantized-to-hell drek that is coming out these days. We wanted the album's sound to have its own personality, and he helped us achieve just that. Finally, Alan did a great job of smoothing out the final details with his mastering. He beefed it up into what you hear now." The only other outside collaborators with which the band worked were soundscape artist Michael Ghelfi, who provided the sample that opens the record and "sets the pest-ridden vibe", and Juanjo Castellano, who painted the cover. "It's amazing and classically death metal cover artwork. I call it an evil underground sewer world, home to the verminous ones. If you look closely you can find all kinds of rats and bugs and critters scattered throughout. The amount of detail Juanjo put in there is second to none."

BravePicks 2020 Top 30

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20) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER - Verminous (Metal Blade)
21) ENSIFERUM - Thalassic (Metal Blade)
22) PROTEST THE HERO - Palimpsest (Spinefarm)
23) SODOM - Genesis XIX (Steamhammer)
24) INCANTATION - Sect Of Vile Divinities (Relapse)
25) MIDNIGHT - Rebirth By Blasphemy (Metal Blade)
26) NAGLFAR - Cerecloth (Century Media)
27) RAVEN - Metal City (SPV/Steamhammer)
28) KIRK WINDSTEIN - Dream In Motion (Entertainment One)
29) VANDEN PLAS - The Ghost Xperiment: Illumination (Frontiers)
30) GREEN CARNATION - Leaves of Yesteryear (Season of Mist)



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