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On disc: The Wretched End

Ominous - Mike Thompson - 8 stars
Inroads - Lars Bjørn - 6 stars


(Candlelight Records - 2012)

Samoth means serious business with band The Wretched End, releasing the second album two years after the debut Ominous from 2010. The former Emperor and Zyklon guitarist has named the new music Inroads, and the content of that experience is Norwegian musical madness, extreme metal with small glimpses of the skills Samoth has but seldom lets out of the closet. It should be a little more elegant and complex than these 9 songs to really make a difference, in this way that Inroads presses on there is a general impression of confusing death metal where the growls and massive drums are the main ingredients. Death By Nature gives a plus to The Wretched End with aggressive metal where Samoth lets his guitars show some genuine creative sides of the extreme metal they do, both melodic and aggressive metal strength. More of the good metal comes on Blackthorn Winter as the structure is slow and rising in tempo with an advanced view of letting the song progress as it goes along. Fear Propaganda is speedy with a lot of nerve, good rhythms, and the growls spits out propaganda speaking of fear and gruesome topics, solid backed up with massive drums to lift the spoken passages to the safe shore. A CD that could have needed a little more work, but with a new name and band it is important to get some news out.

6 stars

Lars Bjørn



(Candlelight Records - 2010)

Samoth will be a musician known to many fans of black metal as the guitarist of the legendary Emperor and Zyklon. The Wretched End is another project from this titan of extreme metal in which he once again teams up with Scum band mate Cosmo. To complete the trio Nils Fjellström of Dark Funeral provides the battery.
This is a bit of a different album to any of Samoth's previous bands. Yes, its still grounded in extreme metal but it combines black, death and thrash metal in a package that is very fresh sounding. Where Emperor was pure symphonic black metal, Scum was death punk and Zyklon was blackened death, The Wretched End walks the line between all three without really being grounded in any subgenre.
This album is extremely heavy without making you feel like your head has been run over by a tank. The raw vocals of Samoth drive the music forward relentlessly in perfect unison with the blasting guitars and raging drum work. This is an album that will bridge the gap between those who like the old classics like Slayer and those who enjoy the rawness of the modern extreme metal underground.
The one thing that could be a drawback for this album is that no one song really sticks out and imprints itself on your mind. The songs are all really fine slabs of metal but they don't stick in your mind... or maybe its just that every song is too good! Whatever the case, this is an album that deserves your attention!

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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