Norwegian based The Wretched End, formed in 2008 by ex Emperor/Zyklon member Samoth and ex Mindgrinder member Cosmo along with drummer Nils Fjellstrom have certainly released one of the most claustrophobic albums you may hear this year. It is their 2nd full length release after their 2010 debut Ominous. Both albums were produced by Samoth’s own label Nocturnal Art Productions and distributed by Candlelight records. Inroads was released on April 23rd 2012.
The press release described The Wretched End as extreme metal but they have more strings to their bow than that monicker. 2 of the tracks on the album, Fear Propaganda and Throne Renowned Of Old are bona fide balls to the wall extreme metal but the remaining 7 whilst being crushingly heavy have nuances to escape that tag.
For example, album opener Tyrant Of The Mountain oozes in with discordant guitar, heads off into full throttle thrash metal and a grinding mid-section as the song ends with double tracked vocals. Deathtopian Society’s air raid siren opening sample over lurching guitars and an almost spoken vocal lead to manic buzzsaw riffs, guttural roars with the song ending in a funeral like dirge. The mauling guitars on Cold Iron Soul are punctuated by keyboard swirls and the laid back riffing on the brooding Blackthorn Winter.
Highlight of the album for me is the previously mentioned Throne Renowned Of Old, the heaviest/fastest track on Inroads with drumming i have not heard as intense since 1st hearing Frost from Satyricon.
The Wretched End band line up :-
Samoth – Lead/Rhythm guitars.
Cosmo – Lead/Rhythm guitars,bass/vocals.
Inroads track listing :-
Tyrant Of The Mountain.
Death By Nature.
Cold Iron Soul.
The Haunting Ground.
Throne Renowned Of God.
I award Inroads 9.5/10.