Bands that deal with themes of modern warfare have always fascinated me a lot, with album artwork featuring scenes of war being particularly captivating. Be it Marduk
's Panzer Division
's Loi Martiale, as long as the artwork features scenes of tanks and destruction, it would be worth a listen.
is Entrenched's debut full length release, and unlike the aforementioned bands, they play war-themed death/thrash metal. As typical of most albums that deal with the theme of war, the album opens to the sound of air raid sirens, machine gun-shots and destruction beneath the chaos presented by the guitars, before drummer Charles ends the opening intro track with martial drums.
As the album starts off proper with Bred to Kill
the listener is introduced to the style of Entrenched proper. The razor sharp riffs, backed by the frantic drumming certainly brings one to the scene of war, where things move at such a fast pace where falling behind means a certain death. The shared vocal duties between guitarist Sean and drummer Charles also provide a variety in the vocal styles, with each handling a different pitch in vocals, keeping the music fresh and interesting. The band also constantly makes use of samples, such as the intro of ICBM, bringing listeners back to the 40s, before leaving the listeners with an ominous and somewhat bittersweet feeling with the spoken sample of nuclear threats and the band unleashes their blitz onto the listener.
There are times though where the guitar solos sound almost awkward and out of place, such as on ICBM, where one is expecting a Slayer
-esque riff, yet they throw listeners a curveball and instead decide to take things slightly slower. It also does not seem as if guitarist Sean is incapable of dishing out face-ripping guitar solos, as evident on many of the tracks on the album, yet the choice of solos on some of the songs certainly caused the enjoyment of the album to be slightly affected. The leads on the intro of Landbrecher 666
are also awkward, and the song could have been better off without it. Songs such as Anesthetic Death provide listeners with a slight slow down in the music, with the opening riffs sounding almost black metal influenced, and is one of the few songs that deviate slightly from their usual style on the rest of the album. The solos on this track are also uncharacteristically melodic compared to the solos on other tracks, and gets surprisingly fitting as the song progresses.
While the at times awkward guitar solos have caused the album to become slightly enjoyable as the album progresses, it is fortunate that the band once more gets back to form on the closing track Dropping the Tsar Bomb, closing the album in style. While some moments disappoint the listener, this is overall an enjoyable album if one is lusting for war and destruction.