Entrench – Through the Walls of Flesh (2017) REVIEW


A burning sea of bodies and steel.

If you are going to be the sum of your hand-picked favorites in musical style, no sub-genre of heavy metal has more transparent influences than thrash metal. To remain steadfast in my a gluttonous thrash-obsessed fandom I’ve, naturally, overlooked countless cases of plagiarism for the sake of loving the genre. Wearing your influences on your sleeve is never a bad thing so long as you’re meeting the standard of a really great cover band, at the very least. Don’t worry! I’m not talking shit about Entrench here, they’ve absolutely been far above ‘fan project’ status since their first full-length ‘Inevitable Decay’ which was a riff-packed blast that seemed tailored to sound just like Kreator‘s third album ‘Terrible Certainty’. I loved it, of course, because I’m a sucker for Kreator influenced thrash and death/thrash like early Massacra, Hypnosia, and the like. Entrench impressed me off the bat but the second album blew my fish-dick out of the water with some substantial changes in musical personality. A lot of that came from Demolition Hammer style riffing, and vocals straight out of Pestilence‘s ‘Consuming Impulse’ alongside a warmer, less claustrophobic production.


Photo by Ulrika Uppman

On ‘Through the Walls of Flesh’ Entrench has once again done a lot to tidy up production that checks my “that’s professional sounding shit” box while the record still retains a certain ‘analog’ late-80’s warmth with the flattened tone of 90’s death creeping in. It has a live, spacious feeling that I appreciate as the band rips through what I’d consider a death/thrash album. Here we have true students of the riff, with fewer moments of deja-vu than usual. All of that overly familiar riff salad is -almost- completely off the table and the song structures find Entrench at their most intentional and confident. ‘Violent Procreation’ featured vocal style change from Kreator circa ’89 to a howl closer to ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ -era Chuck and thankfully they’ve kept that in tact on this one. The ratio of classic Kreator and Death influences is amazing. It’s as if I dreamt of the ‘just right’ combination of the two and Entrench puff-penised it out right there.

Hypnosia doesn’t exist anymore, Vampire is too tame, and Merciless has been in hiding for a decade. Entrench is my new favorite Swedish thrash/death band that keeps it dirty, thrash as fuck, and writes an endless thread of riffs.


A step above. 4.0/5.0