Crossing the Thrashold: Entrench


Greetings citizens. I apologize for taking forever with this installment. It comes to you after this amount of time for a simple reason. Someone within my crew double crossed me and tipped off my location and activities to the NYPD. It was obviously the new guy, who has been dealt with accordingly. Should’ve known better than to trust a guy who only eats veggie burgers and tofu hot dogs and whatnot. That shit ain’t natural.

Anyway, after a very bloody confrontation with the authorities, me and about 6 of my men managed to escape, but most of my stock was lost in the fracas, including most of my weapons and all of my files for the Toilet that I didn’t keep on my person (luckily my top 10 list was one of the files that I did keep on me.). A million dollar a week business, reduced to fucking rubbish. Most men would throw in the towel, Simon Eric Phoenix is not like most men. People have called me many things (psycho, maniac, etc), but quitter is not one of them, lest they get a knife in their eyeball. Thus I have found a new location with which to continue my lucrative business of  selling various illegal items as well as writing articles for the Toilet. Now I just have to lay low for a while and rebuild everything. That includes rewriting the next installment of CtT from scratch.

That led into another problem; should I rewrite about the band I was originally going to talk about, which would take another 4 or so weeks, or start with another band? Then I remembered that, while making the original write-up, our beer loving Master of Grind Tyree put me on to a fairly new three-piece from Sweden. I listened to one song and my face felt like it was filleted from sheer ferocity. I just had to shout out these fuckers, especially seeing as how they just released a monster of a new album upon us all last month. I will put forth the band I was going to showcase originally in the next installment (and I’m keeping who it is a secret until then.), but for now let’s talk about Entrench.


Formed in 2005 in Vasteras, Sweden and consisting of Fredrik Pellbrink on guitar and vocals, Joel Sundin on bass, and Victor Holstrom on drums; Entrench put out a number of demos independently. Two of those demos, Trails of Death and one simply titled Demo 09, are the only ones still in circulation. During this time Holstrom left the band and was replaced by Joel Gustafsson, while Hannes Lindkvist joined on second guitar but then left in 2010. They were eventually picked up by Abyss Records and released their first full-length Inevitable Decay in 2011. In the same year Gustafsson left the band and Holstrom returned. The next three years consisted of relentless touring and a split with fellow Swede thrashers Insane. Then in November of this year of our lord two thousand and fourteen they released their second full-length Violent Procreation. Sadly this year was also marked by tragedy for the band as Holstrom died in September of unknown causes. But he definitely left behind a wonderful legacy with his insane drumming on Violent…

Besides the late Holstrom’s incredible drumming, this album is marked by fantastic songwriting all around. Swedish thrash has a tendency to say “fuck it” and just rip as hard and as fast as possible, taking the template of Teutonic and Brazilian thrash and distilling it even further. Metal Archives compares Entrench to fellow Swede newjacks Antichrist, but other than both bands’ emphasis on speed above all and Pellbrink’s high pitched but raspy vocals sounding slightly similar to that of Antichrist frontman Steken, I don’t really see it. A better comparison would be to old school Swede thrashers Merciless.

The song structures, particularly on “Violent…”, will likely raise debates among thrashers. Is it just really speedy thrash? Is it death/thrash? All the hallmarks of the latter are there: lightning fast riffs, insane drumming, the wonderful lightning fast vocals that try to keep up with blast parts, lyrics about violence and/or politics. Besides the influence of Merciless, there also hints of cult favorites Demolition Hammer and of Floridians Malevolent Creation (sans chocolate milk) in there as well. Thing is, Entrench are not quite as fast as the aforementioned bands so it doesn’t cross the threshold (see what I did there?) into the realm of death/thrash. Whatever, I’ll leave it open to your opinion and interpretation. All I know is that this “thrash” band fucking rules. Listen and understand for yourself.


Is this song original or game changing? Nope. Does it kick your ass? Yes. Is it perfect music to bitch slap falses with a sledgehammer to? Hells yeah. Bass maestro Sundin once stated that the purpose of their live shows is to run people over musically. I can imagine folks being crushed by the pure aggression of Entrench’s music in the midst of the shitty dive bar that they decided to play on any given night. Fuck moving the heavy ass pool table, them riffs can probably shatter the damn thing into a million painful splinters.

Now there’s a slight issue with where you should go to buy their material. The band has a Bandcamp page, which includes three of their demos and Inevitable Decay. But you can’t buy any of those records, only listen to them. And Violent Procreation is not on there. Their current label, War Anthem Records, doesn’t have a Bandcamp page at all (Simon asks WHY?). So the best I can do is direct you here for physical copies. Both full lengths are on Spotify though, so if you posses that great app, have at it.

Wherever you may find a copy of Violent Procreation or their other works, go to their Facebook page and let them know how much they rip your face off.

Until next time (which hopefully won’t be too long this time), mosh and be well flushers.


(Photo via)

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