Entrench – Inevitable Decay

Recently old school Swedish thrash metal has been ‘resurrected’ by a growing number of bands with the strongest spark of energy coming with the release of Inevitable Decay from Entrench. Steeped in the origins and influences of the genre the debut album from the Västerås, near Stockholm, quartet will excite and thrill all fans of thrash whichever flavour they prefer. With the sounds of the likes of Kreator and Slayer and even a touch of early Metallica , running through its veins the release via Abyss Records, is a proud and loud crushing riff and dynamic rhythms fest of sound.

Entrench already had juices flowing and anticipation for their first full release ripe with several demos that brought  forth their irrepressible thrash metal intrusions. With Inevitable Decay the appetite many gained from those releases will be fully appeased, though the dynamic sounds and dramatic intensity of the eight destructive stabs of metal will probably inspire more greed than they satisfy. 

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Fredrik Pellbrink, fellow guitarist Hannes Lindkvist, and Joel Sundin and Joel Gustafsson  providing the pummelling rhythms on bass and drums respectively, Entrench have created an album that not only harks back to and re-animates the old school thrash mayhem, but actually sounds as if the tracks were recorded back then too. Whether it is a positive or negative is hard to tell, it certainly adds extra thrust and in a way more fury to the sound but production wise the music feels restricted, the full onslaught of the band held back. This is especially the case with the work of bassist Sundin, throughout it is a struggle to hear him distinctly and often one wonders if he upset the producer in some way. This leads to what feels like a less than rounded sound overall but despite this the album is still a striking and pleasing release. It carries no pretensions nor gives unnecessary thrills and spills, just straight from the heart thrash metal intent and energy.

The songs are nicely varied under the nonstop incessant bombardment of heavyweight riffs and ear splitting guitars, with the vocals of Pellbrink coarse and malicious matching the raw sounds and direct lyrical content, which itself is scathing and unrestricted. Consistency across the songs is impressive and it is hard to pick out particular songs but moments  like the unrelenting drive and collision on the ear from ‘Debt Of Sorrow’, the varied attack and pace changes within ‘Into Oblivion’, as well as the melodic almost acidic guitars leading in ‘Portrait of a Phobia’ are all memorable and pleasing excursions into the ear.

As mentioned the songs are varied but across the trio of consecutive songs ‘Doubt What’s Left’, ‘Blind Illusion’, and ‘Crossing The River’, there is a real similarity especially in the opening segments to the songs. The tracks do expand into their own directions but it does indicate there is still an area that has space to be developed in their songwriting. To be fair it is almost a case of looking for something to balance the positives and it will certainly not be an issue for thrash lovers.

Inevitable Decay is an honest chunk of old school thrash reproduced and given its own flavour from Entrench, and though it is unlikely to feature as an essential purchase recommendation it will easily find a large amount of eager hearts and ears to satisfy.

RingMaster 24/11/2011

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