(Unspeakable Axe Records)
Following their 2013 demo 'Dragged Down To Hell' Pennsylvanian death Metal war machine TrenchRot have now unleashed their debut full length 'Necronomic Warfare' upon the world, and if the band have it their way, and I think they will, none will be spared, which is good thing because this album is excellent.
Musically it's a blend of American and Swedish death Metal sounds, with traditional styling, a strong Autopsy, Asphyx influence in the riffs, also hints of Bolt Thrower, particularly in the respect of the war theme and there's even a touch of Ribspreader in places.
All aspects of the musicianship from the quartet are good, the guitars offer a good mix of face ripping riffs and tasty solos, the drum work is cleverly understated and controlled most of the time, less is certainly more, but when needed, Justin Bean can blast out a barrage of patterns to embellish rather than overpower a track and most importantly you get great vocals from Steve Jansson, think Martin van Drunen (Asphyx) and you will be close to the style. The overall sound has a dirty edge and the album is not over produced which helps to keep the gritty feel throughout.
Article continues below...
The album consists of twelve very well crafted tracks encompassing forty eight minutes and opening with 'Death By Trenchrot' the title of which, pretty much sums up just what to expect from the whole album, starting on a drum roll, an up tempo track with a good closing solo.
My favourite track of the album is 'Gustav Gun', just for the Bolt Thrower style opening riff, but it goes way beyond that, there is such a lot going on with this track, a broad range of tempo and direction changes, powerfully dramatic vocalisations and a crazy closing solo. It's the second longest track and is five minutes well spent.
'The Most Unspeakable Of Acts' is an intense opener, with great drums, catchy riffs and good direction change, the tempo dropping down for the last minute. The excellent 'Mad Dogs Of Wars' has a slower reflective guitar segment midway, beautifully laced with precisely placed drum work.
'Sickening Devotion' opens on a dirty groove but the pace soon picks up, midway another drum laced slower segment, something that TrenchRot execute so well. 'Necrotic Victory' has a lovely galloping pace and catchy repeat riff with a Ribspreader feel, completed by squealing guitars and closing solo that all together makes it a memorable track. I love the insane guitar break that pops up repeatedly throughout 'Maddening Aggression' adding an even more frantic edge to this intense track.
Title track 'Necronomic Warfare', the longest at over seven minutes, builds with grandeur and a pummelling drum build is followed by a groove that has a Bolt Thrower feel to it in places, a great track that ends in slower tail off that encompasses another drum laced solo that opens out to a guitar duet, making a stunning track end.
The final three tracks, 'Gallery Of The Dead', 'Trapped Under Treads' and 'Dragged Down To Hell' also featured on the previously mentioned, 2013s demo 'Dragged Down To Hell'. I am glad because anyone catching this CD and not the demo would have missed out on three great tracks.
'Necronomic Warfare' is not just an excellent first release; it is an indication of the potential yet to be unleashed.