THE WRETCHED END – Inroads

After making a strong debut with Ominous, Norway’s THE WRETCHED END easily proved their worth.  Now, with Inroads, the band have honed and focused their sophisticated, multi-dimensional style of extreme metal to a blacker, more desolate place.  Everything from the classic album artwork to the atmospheres and overall sound possesses a distinctly Norwegian black metal undercurrent.  However, this is not a rehashing of past victories. This is the band’s modern expression of Norwegian black metal fused with the other elements of their sound.  The thrash elements of their sound make less of an appearance this time around.

Soon after Inroads begins, it’s clear that THE WRETCHED END have further defined their style with new sounds, vibes, and dynamics.  Lead guitars are effectively, succinctly, and frequently used to add color.  Norwegian black metal dissonance is utilized in riffs such as in “Tyrant of the Mountain” and “Deathtopian Society.”  “Death by Nature” and “The Haunting Ground” have killer grooves.   “Cold Iron Soul” constantly shifts tempos with the subtle, contrasting riffs that flow well together.  THE WRETCHED END deliver the sense of ominous urgency with the run away train feel of “Fear Propaganda.”

In addition to the subtle complex song arrangements and sounds, the sheer spirit of Inroads is very reminiscent of the mighty EMPEROR.  Indeed, THE WRETCHED END reach new heights as shown on the absolutely invincible, decadent melodies at the end of “Blackthorn Winter,” the powerful emotion of “Hunger,” and the total domination of closer “Throne Renowned of Old.”

While all the various dimensions of Inroads may not be readily discernible nor fully appreciated at first, it all comes out over time.

In an ever crowded and formulaic extreme metal scene, THE WRETCHED END easily distinguish themselves as one of the best.  (Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records)

Watch 2009 Studio Sessions for THE WRETCHED END’s Ominous

Norwegian extreme metal super group, THE WRETCHED END, have just posted a video of the 2009 recording sessions for the band’s debut album, Ominous [read our review here]. The video focuses on drummer Nils Fjellström (IN BATTLE) with some footage of guitarist Samoth (EMPEROR, ZYKLON, SCUM) and vocalist/guitarist Cosmo (MINDGRINDER, SCUM, SOURCE OF TIDE) laying down some lead guitars.

THE WRETCHED END – Ominous

It’s been a long four years since we last heard new music from ZYKLON leader/guitarist Samoth. Regrouping anew with MINDGRINDER/SCUM vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cosmo and Swedish drum beast Nils Fjellström (IN BATTLE, AEON, DARK FUNERAL), THE WRETCHED END prove to be cutting edge extreme metal.

Ominous embodies the qualities that (extreme) metal should possess: fierceness, technical prowess, great riffs, and a fist in the face delivery. The record is well balanced as brutality, a variety of tempos and riffing styles, black metal, death metal, thrash metal, melody, and dissonance all find their place. It’s logical that the next step in Samoth’s musical evolution bears similarities to ZYKLON’s swansong, Disintegrate. However, the distinguishing characteristics of THE WRETCHED END include more of his unique melodic style, a larger dose of brutal thrash sounds (i.e. classic SLAYER, SEPULTURA), and a more brooding, apocalyptic tone overall.

There are plenty of great tracks to be found on Ominous that make a strong impact. The first two songs, “Intro” and “Red Forest Alienation,” drop like a bomb as the band announce their arrival with a multi-armed tour de force. Songs like “The Armaggedonist” proudly update Norwegian black metal for 2010. “Numbered Days” is ominous as hell with its desolate feel and sinister horns. “Fleshbomb” and “Human Corporation” are just killer tracks with an unrelenting pace and nonstop catchy riffs.

Last but not least, the lyrics on Ominous are not to be ignored. Based on current events and looking at the world and society from a more global standpoint, there are plenty of impending crises that mankind would be smart to take heed of.

THE WRETCHED END’s Ominous is a strong and ambitious debut that aims at being the best metal album that it can possibly be. With a strong foundation laid, the future is theirs. (Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records)

Norway’s THE WRETCHED END Post New E-Card for Ominous

THE WRETCHED END, the new Scandinavian group comprised of Samoth (ZYKLON, EMPEROR, SCUM), Cosmo (MINDGRINDER, SCUM, SOURCE OF TIDE), and Nils Fjellström (IN BATTLE, AEON), have posted an e-card promoting their debut album, Ominous. Check it out here.

Ominous is scheduled for release on October 25th worldwide through Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records. The official iTunes EP will be available October 4th.

THE WRETCHED END Signs to Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records

The Wretched EndTHE WRETCHED END, the new band featuring Samoth (ZYKLON, EMPEROR, SCUM), Cosmo (MINDGRINDER, SCUM), and Nils Fjellström (IN BATTLE, DARK FUNERAL, AEON), have announced their signing to Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records.

THE WRETCHED END was formed in 2008 as creative collaboration between Samoth and Cosmo. Samoth and Cosmo have previously worked together on the infamous deathpunk project SCUM. Cosmo has also played with ZYKLON on bass when the band toured Europe as special guest for MORBID ANGEL in 2001. The two have long spoken about collaborating on an extreme metal project. Most of the material for the debut album was composed throughout 2008, and by spring 2009 a full pre-production consisting of 11 tracks was recorded.

In the summer of 2009, Swede Nils Fjellström was confirmed as the drummer. The drums were successfully recorded in Strand Studio, Oslo, September 2009. The album recording continued through the end of 2009 and was completed in the first half of 2010. The recording line-up consists of Samoth on lead and rhythm guitar, Cosmo on lead and rhythm guitar, bass and vocals and Nils Fjellström on drums.

The debut album, tentatively entitled Ominous, will be released through Samoth’s own imprint label, Nocturnal Art Productions and marketed and distributed worldwide by Candlelight Records. Album tracks include “Zoo Human Syndrome,” “Red Forest Alienation,” “Residing in Limbo,” “Human Corporation,” “Numbered Days,” “Of Men and Wolves,” “The Juggernaut Theory,” “Fleshbomb,” “The Armageddonist,” “With Ravenous Hunger” and “Last Judgement.” The album is scheduled for release fall 2010.

THE WRETCHED END can musically best be described as a “Deathrash,” taking elements from both Death Metal and Thrash Metal. Many of the songs are quite groove orientated, and also offer a melodic side. Influences range from old-school to a more modern Death/Thrash metal sound.

DARK FUNERAL – Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus

While DARK FUNERAL’s last album, Attero Totus Sanctus, was a good album, Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus is a milestone for the band. It’s highly possible that Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus is the band’s finest work thus far. And that’s not bad considering the fact that DARK FUNERAL has always delivered quality music.

With new blastmaster Dominator (IN BATTLE) in tow, the band unleash their trademark darkness, blasting speeds, scorching melodies, and excellent vocals. The most noticeable distinction between Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus and its predecessors is the grander scale and attention paid to creating stronger atmospheres. The proof is in the song writing as tension and atmosphere is developed with a potent and natural flow. Sure, DARK FUNERAL continue to blast at lighting speeds when the time calls for it, but slower, more moodier songs such as “My Funeral” and “In My Dreams” demonstrate a growing musical palette for the band.

Another distinction between this album and its predecessors are the subtle enhancements in songwriting that give a stronger sense of power and impact. For example, the title track has sections where the tempos are fast and there is an effective transition which then transitions into an even faster tempo shift. Vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula lays down another godly performance as he uses his range of different styles to give the song exactly what it needs to be put over the top.

Speaking of Emperor Magus Caligula, he once again proves why he is one of the best vocalists in extreme metal. His absolutely hellish high screams are awesome, especially when he holds out the screams for a long note. His use of his lower death metal vocals, spoken vocals, and higher screams are all blended in naturally to form a strong cohesive identity as opposed to a cut-and-paste approach. The rest of the band, including leader/guitarist Lord Ahriman, should not be discounted as their performances on Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus are noteworthy as well.

There’s something about the fury and fire of DARK FUNERAL’s Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus that is purifying. There is no need for commercial taglines with DARK FUNERAL. This is true black metal. (Regain Records)