The surge of bands playing old-school thrash metal has also included bands that pay homage to bands of Teutonic origins, and Entrench, hailing from Sweden certainly does this well with their new album, Inevitable Decay. The colourful artwork that looks like a child’s masterpiece could easily cause one to keep delaying listening to the album, but looking past that, the music that lies beneath the artwork surprisingly doesn’t disappoint.
The first thing that strikes the listener is the extreme old-school production quality of the album, with opener As Dawn Breaks sees the band not providing any slow buildup that many bands tend to utilise, instead hitting the listener in the face with extremely frantic riffs and a quick tempo. Vocalist Fredrik’s style is a semi-shriek, sounding like a higher pitched version of Kreator‘s Mille Petrozza, and this complements the aggressive music at the background. The guitar tone throughout the album is also extremely thin, bringing albums such as Slayer‘s earlier material to mind. Even the riffing on some of the tracks reek of the Slayer influence, such the opening riffs of Debt of Sorrow, sounding like it could fit comfortably in Reign in Blood. Other times, songs like Debt of Sorrow sees the band bringing in such influences by bands like Sodom.
But it is not all chaos throughout as the band provides some slower moments, with moments such as on tracks like Portrait of a Phobia giving listeners a small break before the madness continues full speed ahead. Guitar solos are also not a complete shred-fest, as guitarists Fredrik and Hannes incorporate some melodic moments as well, such as on Into Oblivion. The underlying rhythmic section of drummer Joel Gustafsson and bassist Joel Sundin helps to maintain the order amongst all the insanity provided by the guitar wielding duo.
The raw production quality helps make the album all the more charming, and unlike many bands that attempt the old school feel through intentionally making the production raw, Entrench manages to do so without coming across as pretentious, and instead makes the album more authentic and sincere, and a blast for fans of old-school thrash metal.