The Wretched End

Album Review: The Wretched End – Inroads

The abdication of the throne in 2001 by Norwegian black metallers Emperor left a gaping hole within the realm of extreme metal. The trio went their separate ways, and after three successful records in five years with Zyklon, guitarist Samoth moved briefly on to Casey Chaos’ underwhelming Scum project before collaborating with fellow Scum member Cosmo to create The Wretched End. Inroads, the sophomore record from The Wretched End, continues on a path first tread eleven years ago with Zyklon’s debut, World ov Worms, anchoring the record in fearsome concoction of death and thrash metal that is as ruthless as ever.

In ‘Tyrant of the Mountain’, Inroads offers a scorching ingress for the uninitiated in just how lethal an injection of black metal to a death/thrash mixture can be, especially one that evokes equally the The Wretched End Inroads Artworkmarks of Dew-Scented and 1349. The tyrannical, anti-human bile of ‘Deathtopian Society’ and ‘Fear Propaganda’ display more effectively than anything else the legacy of Zyklon, but ‘Death by Nature and ‘Blackthorn Winter’ contain expansive melodic sections that pull away from this legacy; the latter concludes with a section of such epic majesty that it would not be out of place on Prometheus… or IX Equilibrium. It is only the relatively forgetful ‘With Ravenous Hunger’ and the tedious ‘The Haunting Ground’ that inspire any thoughts of mediocrity, but the relentless bloodlust of ‘Thrones Renowned of Old’ closes out the record with an apocalyptic raid that sears The Wretched End’s sound in to the synapses of the listener’s brain.

Many have followed with interest the progress of former Emperor partner Ihsahn as he sails towards the outer solar system of metal with his solo work, but Samoth has forged a formidable reputation for himself by staying within the orbits of black and death metal. Inroads is a vastly more self-assured record than Ominous, and while it is impossible for Samoth to ever escape his exception curriculum vitae, The Wretched End can stand proudly on their own feet with yet another excellent record under their experienced belts.

     

About Stuart

I have been writing for about seven years, my only writing qualification is a poorly-deserved grade C in GCSE English Language. I write mainly on music and literature, but have also written about the politics of sport, for some reason. I generally listen to horrible music, so my reviews will invariably be of black metal, grindcore or noise bands. Interests include attempting to play ice hockey, relieving Oxfam charity shops of every last book that they receive, and becoming TOP DOG in the world of Polish football spread-betting.

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