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Great Melo. Death/ Black Metal! - 92%

Cravinov13, April 29th, 2007

Old Man's Child is a Norwegian black metal band founded in 1993 by current Dimmu Borgir guitarist Galder (aka Thomas Rune Andersen). With other members coming and going (mainly drummers/ percussionists), Galder remained the main driving force behind the band, being the guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist of the band. In 1996 the band was signed to Century Media, but due to the constant lineup changes, the band has rarely toured. Galder then joined black metal behemoths Dimmu Borgir in 2001 as their new guitarist while still fronting Old Man's Child. On Old Man's Child latest release, Vermin, the band continues to make heavy, symphonic, grisly black metal. With guest member Reno H. Kiilerich on drums and a guest guitar solo by Eric Peterson on Lord Of Command (Bringer Of Hate), Vermin stands as a solid black metal release.

The first track, Enslaved And Condemned, begins with dark, melodic guitar strums followed by some quick drum rolls and heavy, grooving, apocalyptic riffage. Galder comes in with his demonic vocal style (which actually resembles that of Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy) as he roars his satanic lyrics. There is a lot of strong keyboard backdrop and a wicked guitar solo about halfway through the song and another near the end of the song. The track has a very good brutal yet symphonic feel to it, and is a great opening track to introduce the listener to the album. The Plague Of Sorrow starts off with industrial noises and static only to kick off into heavy blast beats and gothic riffage. The track has a great groove to it and some more symphonic keyboard backdrop mixed in with it's brutality. Galder again shows off his demonic death metal inspired vocals with intense rage as the track blisters with gothic atmosphere and ambiance.

War Of Fidelity kicks off with a powerful drum solo intro that is backed up quickly by some sweeping guitar riffs and Galder's menacing howls. The song is tad more thrashy then the previous to tracks and has a slightly less presentful symphonic feel. The bass on the track gives a good groove to it's swinging thrash melodies and blast beats. Another great guitar solo is present on the track, along with a quick symphonic breakdown that sounds almost like it came out of a video game. An overall solid track with great riffs and guitar melodies. In Torment's Orbit has a much more dynamic apocalypse feel to it as the opening riffs kick on with the drums only to lead into a strong guitar solo and keyboard backdrop. By this point, Galder doesn't present much difference in his vocal style, but makes up with creative song structure. Another track dominated by it's symphonic feel and various thrash elements giving it a brutal gothic feel.

Probably the greatest stand out track is Lord Of Command (Bringer Of Hate). The intro reminds me of Nile an it's symphonies. The song then kicks into dark guitar riffs and keyboard backdrop, giving a much stronger symphonic feel then the previous tracks. The track also has some great thrash guitar and keyboard breakdowns mixed in with it's demonic brutality of guitar and vocals. Galder does an interesting echo with his voice in one part of the song that you can't help but find amusingly catchy. Overall a perfect black metal track in my book. The Flames Of Deceit begins with some scratchy riffs and heavy drum lines followed by some more gruff vocals. The track has some very strong guitar dynamics and some good vocal performances from Galder. A powerful breakdown occurs with some sweeping guitar solos and keyboard ambiance. Overall the track has some great guitar work, but could stand to having a better song flow and structure.

Black Marvels Of Death has some chugging melodic guitar strums as it starts that ascend into some dynamic drum lines and guitar chugging. The symphonic feel to the song is very strong, and sounds a lot more like Dimmu Borgir then any of the other tracks on the album. There is more wicked guitar solos and some standout bass riffs fueled by keyboard backdrop and drum beats. Another typical Old Man's Child track, but still good none the less. Twilight Damnation also has a melodic guitar intro that plays some very folk-esque tunes before some quick slashes at the guitar lead it into an aura of blast beats and thrashy symphonic black metal. The song doesn't present anything new to the album that the other tracks haven't already distinguished, but the song still has a nice groove to it. The album ends with slightly over a minute long outro track ... As Evil Descends, which is basically a bunch of dark gothic ambiance and symphonies mixed with industrial noises and creepy howling noises. Overall, Vermin is a standout black metal album with some gothic tunes that say that the band is still going strong even after all these years. All hail Old Man's Child.

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR SPUTNIKMUSIC.COM