ENTRENCH "Inevitable Decay"

HEMOPTYSIS "Misanthropic Slaughter"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Me being a medical man, I will put your questions to rest and give you the definition of "hemoptysis". It simply means "coughing up blood". A pretty good name for a thrash band, although it's not gonna roll off anybody's tongue very easily.

"Misanthropic Slaughter" is a self-produced release that has actually been out for quite a while now and has been gathering quite a reputation in the underground. Hence, this reissue. The Phoenix-based Hemoptysis is proud to brand itself as pure thrash but the good thing about "Misanthropic Slaughter" is that it isn't another cookie-cutter replay of 80's music. This has its own distinct sound. The hideous cover art suggests total blasting speed worship but this is not the case. The band's songs are well-thought out, in the  vein of Testament and Forbidden but with a darker, more savage edge. The guitar work is technically excellent and capable of some real melody. The vocals have a really raw and nasty touch, kind of like a sinister black metal Paul Baloff, which I find kind of cool. Some tunes are surprisingly mid-paced but they all work themselves up to a flurry of tasty thrash. The best is saved for last, as the last four tracks show Hemoptysis at their most exciting. "Blood Storm" and "Shadow of Death" are both multilayered thrash epics with incredible guitar, "Hadephobia" has some tasty traditional metal influence and the album ends with the blazing riff-fest "End of Sorrow". The only fault I found in "Misanthropic Slaughter" was a murky production that was on the average side. But  for sure, this is a band that will have you coughing up blood with a smile on your face.

Entrench (not to be confused with the new death metal band Entrenched, who are also fantastic) is more like what I thought Hemoptysis would be like. This is raw, neck-breaking fury that is one of the most successful attempts to recreate the heyday of German thrash I've ever heard. It is an amazing tribute to the 85 to 87 era of that scene, right down to the 100% retro analog production that will bring tears to an old headbanger's eyes. Modern day digital kids might not get it, but fuck them if they can't feel the energy here! For sheer thrashing mayhem, I haven't heard one like this in a long time...not only does it bring back memories of Kreator's "Pleasure To Kill", Sodom's "Persecution Mania" and Destruction's "Infernal Overkill", but also many not-so-famous kraut-thrashers such as Vectom, Violent Force, Necronomicon and more. American retro-thrashers could learn a lot from these Swedes...even the super-crude cover art recalls the primitive glory of that earlier time!

You might have to dig to find these superlative examples of the thrashing art, but believe me, it's worth it! Great stuff from both bands!