Contagious, Cathartic and Quick—the Alan Cassidy Drum Review of “Verminous by the Black Dahlia Murder (2020)”

The Witching Hour Featured Artist

The Black Dahlia Murder is a death metal band who takes on the impossible task of performing live as a death metal entourage. There is a drummer who comes to mind when I think of a ‘90s archetype that stands out like no other. Alan Cassidy, the Black Dahlia Murder’s footwork engineer, and blast beat architect can be heard throughout the new single titled “Verminous.”

When I think of a drummer who is Verminous, I picture the sickest drum delivery as possible. Alan Cassidy nails the listener with a labyrinth filled with a variety of footwork typically unheard of in the death metal craft. Growing up as a drummer in a death metal band of the ‘90s, I am particular of making three things perfectly clear what death metal is, and what it is not. The Witching Hour drum reviews take on the firsthand expectation from someone who served in the trenches as a drummer who expects three things with the death metal brand—contagious beats, cathartic blast beats, followed by quick feet.

Archetype Delivery

The myth that all bands who play death metal must be satanic is a fallacy. Chuck Schuldner at the “Day of Death” in Milwaukee, Wis. announced during the “Death Human Tour ‘91” made clear death metal was his genre and ideology was not the focus of his prototypical expectation of the future of the genre he engineered. The Black Dahlia Murder flashes pentagrams, which is a total turn off to sell out to draw viewers. Drummers could care less. Alan Cassidy takes on the tough task of holding down originality in a genre that offers three forms of delivery with blast beats, quick time simplistic patterns with single-footed tempo keeping and the typical machine gun barrage drumming commonly played in all death metal bands.

The Trance

Death metal drummers take on the anthropological role of invoking ecstatic forms of performance. The audience keeps staring in awe in amazement while drummers like Alan Cassidy seem possessed, but realistically, simply has perfected his abilities with his craft. Playing death metal drumming is like opening a portal to a new universe in the percussion stratosphere.

All religious and sacrilegious values aside, the world and mind of a drummer like Alan Cassidy spends countless hours entranced in thought trying to sharpen the axe of improving the future of the toughest genre to play. Alan Cassidy scores high marks in the death metal community with his mastery of whips and snaps through his rolling double bass.

Alan Cassidy

The Possession

Ecstatic performers who are masters of their craft seemed possessed with their inhuman ability. Alan Cassidy makes the fundamentalist drummer hang on for dear life trying to emulate. Developing a style like Cassidy’s does not come easy and give him extra points for his Verminous footwork. I felt like I was being led through a maze of snakes slithering through an isle of ooze trapping me in place. From an anthropological and pragmatic survey of the ecstatic nature of death metal, the average listener, or those who are faint of heart, would run scared for their life when hearing such a fright. Drummers who have perfected their ability to demonstrate their prodigal possession perform their sorcery with flawless facets of full flavorful fan feeding frenzy.

The Ritual

The Witching Hour seeks to survey death metal through the lens of ecstatic trance and possession to dispel any myth the group is possessed by the devil or have a paranormal possession. Religions and genres are cultural representations of how musicians and fellowships view the world. Myths are symbolic and rituals are how the group performs their practice. Alan Cassidy dispels all myths with his flawless transmittal heard in the recording of Verminous. In contrast to ritualistic performance heard in previous albums, hand work and fills were marginal. I felt the foot work stood out as a new approach to future songs. The song flow was marginal in contrast to previous albums, but the cymbal work accented the placement of color heard throughout.

Happy Hauntings

One does not have to have a formal anthropological background to appreciate the sorcery of Alan Cassidy and his footwork style of imagistic flavor to appreciate the Black Dahlia Murder’s new album “Verminous.” Cassidy takes his listener to parts unknown leaving them wanting more. Cassidy lands his place as a legend in the Hall of Fame of archetypical death metal players—the Witching Hour stamp of approval.

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