Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Entrenched - Preemptive Strike

Entrenched
Preemptive Strike
Independent Release

The mix of war related themes with death/thrash metal is hardly a new concept, with acts such as Bolt Thrower, newcomers Hail Of Bullets and Jungle Rot all incorporating war related lyrical concepts into their chosen take on extreme metal. Another newcomer to the realm of war based death/thrash metal is Entrenched - a Rochelle Park (New Jersey, U.S.) based two man outfit that first came together in 2009.
On ‘Preemptive Strike’, Entrenched (Who comprise of vocalist/guitarist/bassist Sean Fitzpatrick and ex-Antares vocalist/drummer Charles Snyder) have managed to put together a fairly impressive debut effort, with the pair showcasing their firm grasp on capturing an old-school death/thrash sound that sits comfortably amongst the bands mentioned above, but without sounding too derivative of any one act in particular.
The opening track ‘Intro (Mobilize)’ sets the scene perfectly, with the band relying more on creating the idealistic killing mood with a grooving metallic instrumental piece rather than relying solely on sound effects.
The follow-up track ‘Bred To Kill’ quite literally picks up where ‘Intro (Mobilize)’ fades out, and quickly establishes the sound and stylistic template that encompasses Entrenched’s song writing. Fast paced in places, and grooved out in others, punctuated with Slayer-influenced solos (Courtesy of guest guitarist Mike Mullins) and a dual vocal attack that adds a bit of variation into the mix, ‘Bred To Kill’ fulfils its objective of laying waste the listener in true killing form.
The thrashier based ‘ICBM’ (Which is opened with a spoken word sample from the 1982 B.B.C. documentary 'Nuclear War - A Guide To Armageddon’) tapers back the aggression to make way for a bit more groove, while the slightly faster and heavier ‘Landbrecher 666’ follows on in similar fashion, but faring a little weaker with its inclusion of solos that sound a little tacked on in places (Most notably the one that introduces the song).
‘Frenzied Amputation’, ‘Burnt And Destroyed’ and ‘Tooth And Nail’ (Which features a great quote from 1991’s ‘The Last Boy Scout’) are all solid battering ram efforts with a perfect blend of speed and aggression that only highlights the more groove based moments of the songs, while the slower and more doom based ‘Anesthetic Death’ is heavily influenced by Asphyx.
‘Dropping The Tsar Bomb’, which is by far the album’s heaviest and most punishing effort, and is a more than fitting way to bring the album to a close.
Overall, while ‘Preemptive Strike’ does have some minor issues (Some of the solos don’t slot into the songs like they should, and some of the songs aren’t quite as strong as others), it’s still a great album, and a worthy way for Entrenched to make their mark on the war/metal scene, and comes highly recommended.

For more information on Entrenched, check out - http://www.myspace.com/entrenchedusa

© Justin Donnelly