TRENCH WARFARE — Hatred Prayer (review)

TRENCH WARFARE — Hatred Prayer album cover Album · 2019 · War Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Coming from the dusty sagebrush scrublands of Midland, TX, the war metal band TRENCH WARFARE debuted its evil as fuck metal in 2015 with the demo “Perversion Warfare” which showed the trio of Tony Goyang Jr (guitar, drum machine), Jay Gorania (vocals) and Kelly Bogues (bass) capable of cranking out some of the noisiest mixes of black and death metal in a pure musical rage. It took four years but the band finally released it’s debut album HATRED PRAYER on the Transcending Obscurity label in 2019 which sees the three tracks on the demo, “Decimate Legions,” “Evil Shall Triumph” and “Blood Cleansing” finally ready for prime time.

Since the demo a new member has joined the unholy ranks with Lee Fisher aka Belgor on drums replacing the rather clumsy sounding drum machine of the demo. HATRED PRAYER is a blasphemous devastating release of blackened death metal churned out like a galloping grindcore garage party gone wild. Basically TRENCH WARFARE delivers a wicked and capable slice of war metal at full rampage fueled with highly caustic distorted guitar riffs and blastbeat bombast on speed but there are a few deviations from that plan. “New Lord” for example shows a slowed down approach which sits somewhere between sludgy doom metal and more caffeinated black however the band doesn’t bode well in this slower mode as the drums are fairly week and it’s obvious that this is a band about playing at full speed.

The album opens with some cinematic sound effects that sound like a laser war is being fought. It reminds me of the early Darkthrone album “A Blaze In The Northern Sky” with a slickly produced sound collage before falling into the depths of lo-fi buzzsaw guitar fueled black metal dissonance and incessant tempo bombast which is the basic modus operendi for the majority of running time with only a few breaks. Like many of these war metal bands the material starts to sound pretty generic in the long haul but at only a 33 minute playing time doesn’t become too stale. The war metal delivery system is on full steam but what really bugs me most are the slower drum parts that sound like some of those unskilled sludge metal styles that just punctuate the beat.

In the end TRENCH WARFARE delivers a competent slice of war metal with a few extra touches but with a legion of similarly minded bands going for the evil jugular, there’s really nothing that stands out on this one that hasn’t been done to death at this point either. If you can’t get enough black metal buzzsaw guitar tones with death metal vocals then this one won’t disappoint but for me it’s the drummer’s oft lazy approach that keeps this from living up to its potential. Kudos for the songwriting though as it’s a bit more abstract and tech fueled than the average war metal band these days. The band is wise to deviate from the monotony of a single tempo but the drumming style isn’t suited for anything other than full fueled rampage mode. Not a bad album and a band that certainly has potential but for my tastes a few too many flaws on HATRED PRAYER.
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