Trench Warfare are relatively new to the Death Metal scene and, as is a pretty well-trodden path for new bands, they’ve gone through lineup changes and produced some shorter releases before putting out this, their debut album “Hatred Prayer”.
To start, Trench Warfare play straight-up, raw, old-school DM. To give you an example, almost as soon as I pressed play on TW’s “Hatred Prayer“, Suffocation’s “Human Waste” sprang to mind. So, if that’s your cup of tea, this album is for you. For me though, quite a few of those Old-School Death Metal albums have production issues, and “Hatred Prayer” falls into this basket. The guitar tone, for example, makes it difficult to pick out the subtleties in some of the riffs. That said, there are some very nice riffs on this album, and the guitarist pulls off a really cool solo in the title track. The drumming is pretty rudimentary, but there are some nice flourishes throughout.
Returning to the production, the drums and vocals seem to share the same sound space at times and, as a result, the drums (occasionally) get lost in the mix. I have a tendency to focus on vocals, and I enjoyed the vocals here. As you’d expect in this genre, the vocals are reminiscent of several early Death Metal bands, with flashes of Browning-era Morbid Angel, Obituary, and even Blasphemy.
Although to me, for the most part, this is an old-school Death Metal album, there is some experimentation on “Hatred Prayer“. There’s a neat surprise near the end of “Decimate Legions“, for example. The album pummels along nicely, but loses momentum around Tracks eight and nine. That said, Trench Warfare quickly return to form on “Blood Cleansing” and maintain momentum until the end of the album. My main criticism of this album, aside from the production issues mentioned above, is that it becomes a bit samey after awhile. I’d suggest writing fewer songs and tightening up on quality-control for the next album. All that said, this is a solid debut.
Rating – 3.5 / 5
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