Old Man's Child Vermin

The clean guitar riff that opens the sixth album by Norway’s Old Man’s Child sounds more ’80s thrash than ’05 Norse metal, and though Vermin immediately shift into the bombastic onslaught of epic/symphonic black metal, those few seconds offer a clue to the nine-song journey that follows. Down to two official members on this outing — Galder (Dimmu Borgir) and Reno Killerich (ex-Dimmu Borgir, Vile, Exmortem), plus a guest appearance by Testament’s Eric Peterson, Old Man’s Child have crafted an abominable (in the most sacrilegious of senses) union of metal’s extreme past and present. Vermin’s symphonic elements provide an undertone of grandeur, contributing to the general iceberg-crushing weight of the entire package and offering a smooth contrast to the razor-blade six-string precision. In other words, Vermin’s sonic assault offers the malevolent ferocity you’d expect from Old Man’s Child, more finely honed skill than raw savagery. (Century Media)