Through the Walls of Flesh by EntrenchRelease date: July 17, 2017
Label: I Hate Records
From the galloping intro riff to the formidable main riff in highlight track ‘Iron Coffin’, Entrench knows just how to keep the pace for thrash fans who want nothing more than an album packed with quality uptempo thrash metal.
They incorporate blastbeats on occasion and the vocals sound like hoarse black metal shouts. I’ve followed Entrench since their debut album Inevitable Decay won me over, and I am pleased to say that the band’s latest album Through the Walls of Flesh reignites my fondness for their material.
Still one of the better thrash bands in metal, Entrench’s Through the Walls of Flesh impressed me more than the latest Power Trip album did. If you want the truth, Power Trip’s latest album sounded monumentally disappointing, featuring plenty of chugging riffs and mid-tempo stomp that lacked in intensity and songwriting dynamics.
Still, some might wish for memorable solos from this effort, but in truth, the songs don’t leave much room for guitar gymnastics. The rhythm and pace are enough fun by themselves, and the band plays simpler riffs that don’t go all over the place with little consistency in the song structure. Entrench knows a thing or two about the Rambo philosophy to writing songs – Get in, get the job done, then get out of there. Songs should move people, not inspire them to solo like a virtuoso.
As mentioned, Entrench lovingly keeps the songs short and catchy. Entrench doesn’t make an attempt at Metallica’s epic thrash style. Entrench usually keeps songs at three or four minutes long, with the exception of finale and closer ‘Fragments/Shadows of Death’, which lasts for a little over eight minutes. The short runtime allows listeners to enjoy the songs without having to wade through any filler. The band trim the fat nicely on Through the Walls of Flesh. The shredding riffs are lethal and when the band plays at breakneck speed, they leave no one in the audience standing around with arms crossed. It’s to the moshpit with you, or you can GTFO right now!
Seven tracks of fun, enjoyable thrash without the band employing the supremely awful party thrash approach, Entrench may not make as distinct an impression on mainstream fans as one would perhaps like, but mainstream acceptance hardly matters for a band that plays passionately out of a love for the music. Almost assuredly, folks who think thrash died a horrible death years ago when the decline of some of the biggest acts on the scene resulted in the release of pop metal like Metallica’s The Black Album, thrash fans will welcome bands like Entrench who want a cross between short and accessible thrash songs that don’t fuck around.
Call me a fan of Entrench, three albums in. Fans should know that Entrench still aims to fan the flames of old-school thrash metal. Few bands play the style with aplomb these days, but that’s what makes obscure bands like Entrench special. They haven’t created a classic album here, but Through the Walls of Flesh will surely add another great album to Entrench’s discography. If three worthwhile albums fail to make its mark on you, and Slayer’s latest is all you can think of listening to, catch a ride on a freight train going full speed into a crash. It’s about goddamn time you started listening to real thrash metal!