Saturday, June 24, 2017

Entrench – Through The Walls of Flesh

Sweden’s Entrench first garnered significant attention with their debut full-length “Inevitable Decay” over half a decade ago. Though they put out another record a few years later, it seems like people didn’t latch quite as tightly to that one, to the point where people are still discussing “Inevitable Decay” today. Yet another 3 years later, the band returns with “Through The Walls of Flesh”, their third studio record. This album is exactly what fans should expect from Entrench at this point. It’s a pure thrash effort, taking significant influence from Slayer’s “Show No Mercy” and the NWOBHM that preceded it. The riffs stay in a fairly comfortable zone, and while they may be a bit predictable, the songs themselves are anything but predictable. This is due to the addition of a couple of lengthier pieces that feature extended instrumental sections.

By taking this extremely old-school approach to thrash, it means that “Through The Walls of Flesh” doesn’t just contain riff after riff. The band makes a conscious effort to put an occasional melodic lead in their music to go alongside the flurry of riffs. Some of the riffs also extend beyond just using power chords, instead opting for slightly more thoughtful compositions. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily translate into memorable tracks, and that would be the biggest criticism of this record. But fans of the band, and really of this style of thrash don’t necessarily look for those gang vocal-type choruses that are easy to shout along to. 

While “Through The Walls of Flesh” is a 2017 release, it would sound much more at home in the late 1980s. The production has a lot of open space, making both the bass guitars and bass drums punchy. Entrench is very clearly a one-guitarist band. Even though it’s likely the guitars are double-tracked, they don’t fill out the entire sound, which lets the rest of the band breathe. The guitar tone is sharp (though not as much of a buzzsaw tone as groups like Destruction or Razor). Vocally, Entrench’s singer leans heavily towards a rough, death/thrash screaming voice. A slightly more aggressive Blood Feast (“Kill For Pleasure” era) would be a good point of comparison, which complements the rest of the music well. Overall, Entrench has crafted another record that is probably exactly what you’d expect from them. This is one of those albums where it was pretty clear what it would sound like before even hearing it, and while it wouldn’t rank amongst my favourite thrash records, it is very serviceable.

Be sure to check out and like Entrench on Facebook!

"The Coming Storm / Dawn of War"
"The Warmonger Sacrament"

Final Rating
3.7/5 or 74%. 

Written by Scott

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