To witness the acceptance of death, an assisted suicide of a figure wielding such powerful taste and sensibility, may bring dignity to the willfully deceased but it is no less tragically received. The burial plot is a blast-hole left in the scorched Earth, the coffin made of stone and napalm singed mud. Though the funeral is predestined and still just days away, I sit here staring into the crypt and stewing over the self-penned and performed obituary, this fourth full-length from Groningen, Netherlands death metal project Entrapment suddenly grieving for the soon rotten beloved. This final statement does however clear up any need for a resurrection or closure beyond the prophesied ‘Imminent Violent Death’, as it ends the project on a perfectly high note.
Burning through several self-produced demos as the first decade of the millennium came to a close, Entrapment would remain largely a one man project just slightly beyond the release of Michel Jonker‘s (Inhumanized, Suffering Quota) impressive one man performances on his debut ‘The Obscurity Within....’ (2012). He’d almost appear to be creating a follow up to the celebrated ‘Epitome of Darkness’ by the fabled Swedish death metal torch of Repugnant as Entrapment was thrashing memorable thanks to some very subtle death n’ roll rhythms throughout. It was a fantastic debut and a tribute to the best of early Swedish death metal that specifically stabbed at the heart of what made a band like Nihilist so unforgettable so many years later. That first album paired with their split with the indomitable Pyre a year later would solidify my interest in the project from that point on but the next two records would take some strange detours as the project grew in scope. The progression of their sound would follow that of Entombed quite closely and by the time ‘Through Realms Unseen’ (2016) released many folks were already beginning to call Entrapment a ‘death n’ roll’ band. I wouldn’t personally agree unless you’d consider it the most subtle non-rocking death n’ roll album ever but just a solid Swedish death metal record. Buzzing and huge as it was Jonker‘s riffcraft and songwriting always sounded best at its most raw and simple, thankfully this ‘Imminent Violent Death’ is just filth-ridden enough to keep Entrapment‘s sound raw and violent throughout the full listen.
Though Repugnant, Nihilist and Pyre are likely good enough reference points this time around I’d additionally steer folks towards the bombast of early 90’s Napalm Death (‘Harmony Corruption’ especially) and the grinding slap of Nirvana 2002 and their posthumous alter-ego Under the Church. Is there any need to dig deeper than that? Not particularly, though I could throw in some of the earlier Usurpress records and a hundred other things most Swedish death metal fans would understand the gist of it is generally pre-1991 Swedish death metal. There are a few outliers that bring a lot of interest to repeat listens as I found “Malicious Predominance” strange at first but one of the more unexpected (and favored) moments on the album. Also, “Process of Dehumanization” has one of several moments on the record that feel like early Necrophobic as much as they bring that early Stockholm sound. Sounds average so far? Not exactly, because Entrapment might’ve always brought a strong set of riffs for each record but Jonker never came close to topping that first album until ‘Imminent Violent Death”. From the heavy break in the middle of “Sacrilegious Congregation” to the wandering Bolt Thrower-esque leads of “Incantation of the Grotesque” that introduce “Sanctifying Putrescent” this half hour record is solidly packed with memorable and exciting riffs that skate the line between the impact of early Asphyx and the ripping death Sunlight Studios would bring to life in the early 90’s.
As I’d suggested prior, ‘Imminent Violent Death’ is a satiating chunk of ‘old school’ death metal that is not only worthy of their classic debut, ‘The Obscurity Within…’, but the sharpest death metal record in this style I’ve heard so far this year. At no point does Jonker rely on his guitar tone as a crutch but, instead writes fantastic death metal songs that are heavily repeatable and heavy with blasphemic fury. Sad to see the project go but I am very thankful for this death all the same. Highly recommended. For preview old heads should jump over to “Malicious Predominance” and its natural pairing with the ‘Harmony Corruption’-esque riffs within “Sacrilegious Congregation” as they are two of the most detailed and effective songs on the full listen.
Coagulated blood, moulded flesh. 4.25/5.0
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