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The sophomore effort by Norwegian trio The Wretched End contains a discernibly greater presence of black metal than their debut affair, but nowhere near the levels of past projects of band members such as Samoth from Emperor to be considered a permanent part of the face-painted gang. The Wretched End instead delivers a sophisticated blend of death and thrash metal, kind of what The Haunted, Grip Inc and The Crown would sound like if they were mixing it up (“The Haunting Ground”) with a noticeable array of black metal inflections embedded within the pummeling tunes comprising the nine-track collection INROADS. Here, Samoth and company tactfully inject the dark atmospheres and primal aggression from their formative musical years into this hulking hybrid (“Blackthorn Winter”) with a solid demonstration of mid tempo mauling, memorable riff writing, and bellicose bombast, resulting in a smorgasbord of savagery that champions the indomitable spirit of extreme metal while culling its predominantly patched together sound from a multitude of artists ranging from Morbid Angel to Enslaved to Lamb of God. -Mike SOS
- Mike SOS