MetalBite Review by Chris Pratl on 4/2/2019 8:43:12 PM
Swedish thrash metal is usually lost in a mired mixture of death and black metal these days, but not to be forgotten or outdone Entrench attempts to help thrash metal force its way back into the Scandinavian forefront.
Inevitable Decay is, almost immediately, total and complete Kreator worship from the very onset of “As Dawn Breaks”. I won’t go as far as to say this is a bad thing, but should your particular palate be so resistant to such well-crafted, albeit 25-years late thrash you may not be so agreeable because you can immediately recognize Pleasure to Kill all over the place. With that said, you can also here Metallica’s Kill ‘em All in varying areas to a discernable degree. I’ll be honest, I like it and can listen to this style all day long, but as a venturing into the familiar territory of bands like Slayer, Kreator or Sodom it might not resound as easily. The basic blueprints of early 80’s thrash is here and undeniably spot-on in tribute or unoriginality, whichever direction you choose to point the band. I do believe that Entrench has a good grasp of the music they produce, even if it is as thin and void of bass-thickness as many of the early contemporaries’ efforts.
What does impress me are the vocals, which don’t really follow any one of the aforementioned legends in immediate style. This is more of a throaty gasping style that, while not unfamiliar, doesn’t really put me off at all. What I also enjoy is that the lyrical content doesn’t seem to focus on the ridiculousness of sex with slutty girls, drinking until you’re blind with insipidity and wanton destruction of property that, in short, lends absolute credence to the myriad of disdainful stereotypes we’ve balanced for all of these years. A track like “Debt of Sorrow” about the disadvantaged being used as pawns for self-motivated gains is a really interesting and brave concept; in this day and age no one tackles social issues the way they would gangbanging some drunken female on a storeroom floor, only to then vomit in union on her (yes, those lyrics exist). Then you get the very basic lyrics of “Into Oblivion” and feel that you have the better of both worlds in the social-issue aspect brought to the attentive masses and the low-brow dead-crying-as-Hell-awaits-you punch that balances the scales nicely. I guess in that regard there’s something for everyone if you like the baseline thrash movement to have no added flair for effect. These guys plugged in, went for it, produced a severely generational thrash metal effort, and I think its definitely worth hearing. There are some great riffs and breakdowns all over, especially in “Doubt What’s Left”. This is where the vocalist channels a bit of Scream Bloody Gore-era Chuck Schuldiner, but without complete and utter pilfering.
As I lightly mentioned, the production is decent, nothing terrific, but for this type of era-conscious metal music it’s not overly distracting or even bothersome. True thrashers and ragers from the day will understand and embrace the tonal inequities that make the music so enjoyable in that simplicity.
I won’t tell you to make this a top priority if you’ve already got all of the Kreator from the early 80’s and bands of a similar ilk, but don’t easily dismiss these guys either. They’re actually paying attention to the core values of the medium and trying to bring back some realism and integrity to thrash as opposed to the hundreds of bands popping up now thinking they have what it takes to replicate the original feel. That’s not happening, boys so you can move on to the next silly rehash. In that case, Entrench is a happy alternative to the weightlessness of this nu-thrash refuse.
Rating: 7 out of 10
(Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com)