One might think that the third wave of Black Metal is on its last legs, with so many DIMMU BORGIR wannabes flooding the scene. OLD MAN’S CHILD have been around for yonks, and this is their sixth album. If you have never heard OLD MAN’S CHILD one could easy describe their sound as DIMMU BORGIR with more emphasis on keyboards, and electronic effects (ie. distorted vocals). This would have much to do with the simple fact that Galder is in DIMMU BORGIR. Even so, OLD MAN’S CHILD are quite different from DIMMU as the overall sound is more traditional and less dramatic than “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”, arguably the pinnacle of Symphonic Black Metal. Even so, Galder easily loses his audience in the thick atmosphere created by mystical keyboard and acoustic guitar breaks.
The stand out track would have to be “War Of Fidelity” as it shows OLD MAN’S CHILD at their best as it showcases their sound over the last decade. You have well written lyrics, fast Black Metal rifting, lots of double bass, haunting keyboard passages; yes all the things that OLD MAN’S CHILD fans adore. Unfortunately, the rest of the songs on “Vermin” just seem to blend together, with none standing out. This isn’t a bad thing, but you just feel like some of the tracks are identical, which is a bit disappointing. Even so, I still love this band, and I enjoy this release.
OLD MAN’S CHILD has not changed much since “In Defiance Of Existence” so you should not expect to hear something groundbreaking. After more than ten years of playing Black Metal, I would like to see OLD MAN’S CHILD take a stab and create an album that is not 99% similar to their previous albums. All gripes aside, Galder managed to create an album that all Symphonic Black fans would appreciate.
(Online May 31, 2007)