Sunday, January 8, 2012

Entrench - Inevitable Decay

Inevitable Decay
Abyss Records

Entrench has been around in one form or another for the better part of the last six years, and have in that time released no less than five demos. But after numerous line-up changes and constant refinement of their sound, the four piece act (Comprising of vocalist/guitarist Fredrik Pellbrink, guitarist Hannes Lindkvist, bassist Joel E. Sundin and drummer Joel Gustafsson) have finally unleashed their debut full-length effort ‘Inevitable Decay’.
Given the rather amateur cover artwork that adorns ‘Inevitable Decay’, I really had no idea what to expect from Entrench. But within the opening couple of minutes of the opening track ‘As Dawn Breaks’, there was absolutely no question what sound Entrench were aiming for – and that’s old school thrash. The sound of ‘As Dawn Breaks’ is best described as a cross between old school Kreator and Sodom, and perhaps even a touch of early Destruction and Metallica in places. This song is as every bit as authentic as stuff you would expect from a thrash band who recorded their debut around the mid ‘80’s, except that Entrench are a relatively new and young act on the scene, and they hail from Sweden (Västerås), rather than Germany.
The band maintain the high standard set down by the opener throughout the duration of the album, with the mid-paced groove/flat out aggressive drive of ‘Debt Of Sorrow’, the riffing extravaganza of ‘Portrait Of A Phobia’, the rather short, but memorable instrumental piece ‘Crossing The River’ and the length epic-like closer ‘Where Only Ruins Remain’ the definitive stand out cuts from the remainder of the album.
I guess there’s not a real lot to say about ‘Inevitable Decay’. Entrench don’t really add much to the old school thrash sound in the way of progressive elements or structuring their songs in a way that presents the thrash sound in a completely new frame. But what the band lack in change and innovation, they more than make up for in terms of writing catchy riff structures, and including vocals that have just the amount of rasp and bite to complement their old school approach to the classic thrash sound.
If there’s one small negative about ‘Inevitable Decay’, it’s probably the production. Much like early thrash classics, the production here is a little on the tinny side of things, and the bass is virtually unnoticeable for the most part.
But when you weigh it all up, Entrench manage to get a whole lot more right than wrong on ‘Inevitable Decay’, and that’s enough to get a positive review from this scribe.
There’s a whole host of acts attempting to jump on the thrash revival bandwagon these days, but when you sort out the acts into those who do it well, and cast aside the rest as mere imitators, Entrench easily slot into the former group.

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© Justin Donnelly