Sunday, May 22, 2011

Entrenched- Preemptive Strike

Entrenched is a two piece death metal band from New Jersey. The band plays a filthy brand of war torn death metal that is sure to leave all the metalheads that stumble upon this in combat shock. The album opens with the sound of sirens going off and some riffs backed by gunfire that foreshadow the impending doom that will come in the next thirty minutes. The savage style you are hearing is Entrenched, get used to it.

Obviously the lyrical themes on Preemptive Strike focus on war. Many bands in the past have used this as a reoccurring theme in death metal. Whether this release is as good as classics by bands like Bolt Thrower or newer faces like Hail of Bullets is all a matter of opinion, but when listening it is more than clear that they can hold their own with a solid portion of the competition.

The guitar tone used here has that signature crunch that fits the style perfectly. After the first few notes the listener should be fully aware of what the next thirty or so minutes will be like, raw and unflinching would be the most fitting terms to describe it. The riffs here are reasonably simple but that doesn't lessen their impact in any way. For a good portion of the playtime they play a very thrash influenced style with a little groove thrown in every now and then. This style works well for the band but when they slow down and crush the listener into oblivion is when it works best. This can be heard on the track "Anesthetic Death" which is one of the best on the album. The sound explored on "Anesthetic Death" is that punishing and brutal style that we've all heard from bands like Asphyx.

The pace that is set for Preemptive Strike is full speed ahead. The album works as a blitzkrieg attack on all of the listener's senses. It comes in, fucks you up and then gets out quickly leaving a large trail of blood behind. There is absolutely no break from the heavy, nasty sound Entrenched puts out, from start to finish you are either caught in a vicious hail of bullets or simply being brutalized. In terms of vocal style there are a few evident influences. Carcass, Deicide, and Ghoul are the first names that come to mind when thinking of comparisons. The dual vocal attack works extremely well on this release and the vocal layering packs one hell of a punch. The growls are particularly barbaric and sound far from controlled, which in regards to this style fits flawlessly.

Overall Preemptive Strike is a stripped down, no holds barred death metal release. There are no frills to be found here, just an all out metal assault. This is surprisingly good for a debut and definitely has me keeping an eye on any future releases the band might put out. So for those of you who enjoy the darker side of death metal Preemptive Strike should be a fun ride. Those who have a morbid fascination with war may also have room for this in their collection. Get it, get destroyed.

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