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The Wretched End - Inroads

INQUISITOR   (5 reviews)

Posted: 08/13/2012 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

This is a pretty solid death metal album, but it doesn't break down any new doors. The Wretched End is made up of two heroes of mine, Nils Fjellstrom, drummer of Dark Funeral, and Samoth, ex-guitarist of both Gorgoroth and Emperor and generally a very solid guitarist. The third member Cosmo, who performs vocals for The Wretched End, Ive heard nothing ov. Thus, I bit into this album expecting some virulent, hate-spawned, and maybe a bit chunky black metal. What I tasted surprised me, and during the course of my first listen I felt a fragment of concern (due to the vocals which I will cover shortly). Gradually, after the next few listens I was steadily contented, resulting in this review.

Inroads opens with a series of dark chords with the track Tyrant of the Mountain. Nils strikes into the incessant blastbeats harkening of Dark Funeral within a series of seconds, and the resulting amalgamation of tremelo picking and blastbeats gives you a good idea of the feel and consistency of the rest of the album. Highlights of the album are Cold Iron Soul, which alternates between a dissonant arpeggio and some heavy riffing harkening to (better) Morbid Angel, and the track Deathtopian Society which feeds off the initial track and throws dynamic guitar parts around while maintaining an over all death metal feel (though I can hear a few harsh transients between riffs indicating that someone may have been a bit lazy in editing the recording).

The guitars drip with dark harmonic distortion that maintains its brilliance during the upper range parts equally with the heavy riffing. The energy with which Samoth and Cosmo play their guitars is thoroughly complimented by Nils’s speedy and indomitable drumming. Nothing is supremely complex, leading to fewer ridiculously memorable parts, but all the parts meld well into each other with obvious dissonant parts leading into energetic speedy death metal.

Though the drums are sampled, one can appreciate the energetic but consistant drumming that Nils is known for, though in contrast to Dark Fortress’s works this album has periodic slower dark arpeggiated parts to build on the dark elements that these musicians are seeking to exhibit. During these parts Nils rarely stops the double kick and actually does a good job of rounding out the dark feeling that results.

One qualm that I felt on first listen through was concerning the vocals. Because of my familiarity with the pedigree of 2/3s of the band, I expected (read. was hoping for) black metal vocals rounded out by periodic death growls because Im biased as hell toward these styles. What Cosmo does is a weird interval between low and midrange that maintains consistency and range through the length of Inroads. From time to time, droning background vocals pattern the slower parts, and their regularity compliment the overall effort of the album: consistent, indomitable, dark death metal that is a generally solid listen.

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