Friday, August 26, 2011
Entrenched's Preemptive Strike and Book of Black Earth's The Cold Testament
Entrenched are your general issue death metal-- except for some tiny but interesting details: they're pretty much brand new compared to vets Exhumed; they're just two guys; they're too metal to use Pro Tools; and they love what they do.
I remember an interview with Venom's Mantas talking about the recording of Welcome to Hell. In it, he was laughing about the lack of synchronizing music recording software, and (at that time) even a lack of click tracks (i.e., no mechanical back-up plan to guarantee the same tempo is maintained during the whole song). He said you could put on the record at the beginning, listen, and then pick up the needle and move right to the end of the same song, which would have gotten noticeably faster.
Entrenched are all over the tempo map, often within the same song. Songs speed up, and up, and up....
This is not a dig: this is fucking cool as all hell....
I'm no expert, but I would bet this was recorded in their basement, live, with the cheapest recording devices they could find. This atmosphere, not unlike 5am jam sessions recorded on a tape player with Coltrane and Monk (Live at the Five Spot, i.e.), lends the whole thing an true air of ...sorry, TR00 air... of enthusiasm and passion. These guys in Entrenched love playing old school death metal and it's obvious. The songs aren't as well-written as Exhumed, they're not as well recorded or engineered, their musicianship isn't as obvious--
--but when "Bred to Kill" or "Burnt and Destroyed" are blazing along burning everything in their path you won't remember that.
Preemptive Strike, both lyrically and musically is Sodom and Kreator meet Hail of Bullets. That's the short version....
Oh: and like Guinness needing to stand 2 minutes after a draught pour, Preemptive Strike is 100 times better loud as shit with a ton of bass (even more than most metal).
Secondly we have Book of Black Earth and The Cold Testament. They've tuned up (to Db, Black Sabbath and Howl's preferred tuning) from the much lower B tuning on previous LP Horoskopus, and they manage to sound even heavier, following a similar sound evolution to Behemoth-- the songs aren't as muddy and previously, and the guitars sound like they evolved from giant boulder catapults to mortars-- smaller and streamlined, but much more dangerous.
"Road Dogs from Hell" is an awesome death metal answer to songs like Metallica's "Whiplash" or Motorhead's "We Are the Road Crew," a cheeky punkish peon to life on the road-- you know, like "Wanted Dead or Alive." "Weight of the World" is a stock rager, but awesome... and album closer "I See Demons" is a slow burner, almost doomy at times.
Thank you, I've been Horn, and that's my time. Tip your waitresses, please. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. Good night, and good luck. Satan be with you.
"Weight of the World" on Youtube: