Trench – Recessed in Chrome (EP Review)
Have you heard of this massive earthquake in Canada recently? It was caused by Trench release their latest EP »Encased in chrome”. It’s a superbly heavy and entertaining version, spanning 11 minutes, and during those minutes the listener is taken to some pretty cool and unexpected places. If you thought their 2020 album”Flower“It was something awesome, so you’re going to love it”Encased in chrome”.
The Calgary quintet has been unleashing carnage since 2016, and it hasn’t stopped since. Also, they didn’t get any softer, they remained as animalistic but honed that animosity in a way that only maturity can manifest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not at all predictable in its refined state. It’s still pure mayhem, but mayhem in a focused delivery, and because of that, it’s memorable and exciting to engage with.
Honestly, I haven’t felt this intimidated since the Nails scrapbook”Abandon all lifewas shown to me. “Encased in chrome” is an intense mix of violence that can best (albeit loosely) be summed up as metallic hardcore. Don’t let that umbrella term mislead you, though. In the relatively short amount of time this EP destroys you, you’ll be guided through moments of melody, electro, rap and various death and core subgenres. This eclectic combination of sounds and styles is both something new for the band and something expected of them. At each exit, Trench is constantly reinventing itself from a solid base and true to its core, and as such, every offering is most certainly a Trench record, but offered from a new angle.
Title track”Encased in chrome” is where the listener begins his new Trench experience. In less than a minute, gravity becomes stronger, pulling the listener’s stomach down as a cacophony of blast beats, demonic chugs and intense vocals envelop the soundscape like a menacing shadow. Those who like groups such as Reversed, TO FINISHand Nails will love the similarities that Trench featured in the first 45 seconds of the EP. It sounds like a powerful and cheeky statement from the band that could be as simple and terrifying as the line “you’re not ready for this…”
“impending impending powerfollows, and the listener is plunged into a technology vacuum without warning. Right now, the band feels ubiquitous, being able to hit the listener at any time from any angle. An ominous bassline in the hands of Tony Chan rumbles in the listener’s brain, and with Jay Breenthe vulgar voice of, the rest of Trench hit hard. They pound and pulverize with intense beats and patterns, and combined with Breen, the listener is constantly under critical pressure. This is further heightened by the terrifyingly overwhelming nature of the production, performed by Jordan hunting at Oodelally Recordings. Everything is mounted, then reassembled just for good measure. Distortion is everywhere, but there are moments that are stripped down to help clean up the listener’s palette.
Take, for example, the little intermission in “impending impending power”. It’s almost soothing, offering a small chance to breathe like an air pocket in an underwater cave. Take a deep breath because Breen throws you back into chaos, shouting “no sense of home” before one of the EP’s biggest breakdowns wears off. The unpredictable nature of the songwriting on this EP is something everyone will appreciate. The pacing is erratic, and while that might be a negative in some versions, it’s certainly not related to “Encased in chrome”. The band don’t write music erratically, however, and it’s important to set that apart. Trench know exactly what they are writing, and when to stop and start the chaos machine.
Because of this, the listener is challenged not to fall expecting the same things through the EP, as this rarely happens. “Unforgivable Remains », the longest track in this offering, is a perfect case for this point. It’s melodic and atmospheric, definitely a highlight of the EP. Guitarists Bryce Jasman and Cole Young play sneaky riffs, groove through riffs and savor as much as you want. The track even gives Tony Chan some time in the spotlight on the bass. The listener can hear great melodies played by the bass throughout the first half of the track.
The reason to raise “Unforgivable remainsas a good argument for the EP’s unpredictability, though? Well, the entire second half of this track is commandeered by a guest performance by the rapper. Guilty Simpsonmember of the Detroit collective Almighty Dreadnaughtz. It comes out of nowhere, but those gritty, concrete-hard features of simpsonsthe performances of fit perfectly with the personality of “Encased in chrome”. It’s dark and full of attitude, and it adds a whole new sound to the EP, and subsequently to the band.
Track 4 begins with an explosion of muddy metal that oozes and slides in a wonderfully ghastly way. At one point, he briefly picks up his pace, punching with irregular timing, then goes straight back to the stomping pace he started with. “sharp narcotics” immediately brings heavy images to the forefront of the listener’s mind. It’s pretty dark territory, this EP, and Trench plunge into it head first, taking us with them. The lyrics are just as raw and visceral in their nature as the tracks. BreenThe writing throughout this EP is impressive, as it has been throughout Trenchthe discography of. The lyrics transport the listener elsewhere with intense metaphor and imagery, helping to paint a picture that is injected into every track. With all that heaviness combined in “sharp narcotics“, I seriously think that I felt the breaths of the guitars in my spine.
“solar hallucinationsgoes adrift, offering 20 seconds of weightlessness marred by uneasiness. Too fast? Maybe…but why wait in the tech ether when the devastating ending track”Be all end all” is just around the corner? It’s Trenchis the final assault on the listener, and it is no less overwhelming than the opening attack. In fact, it may be the track that gets the most attention. It’s unbridled in its chaos, with the guitars playing very intense parts, the drums absolutely overwhelming it with confusing patterns, and the vocals searing the listener relentlessly. The wild synth layers that are just as jarring as the instruments are a great addition to the sound, and it makes for a menacing yet wonderful end track. Don’t be dismayed if you need a break before coming back for a second listen. Take advantage of the silence, because as you can see, Trench don’t like to give you a lot when they’re in charge.
“Encased in chrome” is short, but literally packed with aggression and entertainment. There are full albums that have considerably less depth than this EP, and that’s just one reason. Trench should be nothing short of incredibly proud of this release. The incorporation of unique sounds and layers into the band’s identity, and most importantly, Guilty Simpsonthe well-placed appearance of, shows that Trench have matured into a force that should not be discarded. Their songwriting has grown tremendously over their career, and it deserves appreciation and praise. The flagship track for me is “The Unforgivable Remains”, even if the whole EP is worth repeating.
fans of Trench will be more than satisfied with “Encased in chrome”. New listeners are also going to be satisfied…they’re just going to be terrified at first.
Released on: March 18, 2022
Produced by: New damage records
Kind: Metallic hardcore
- Jay Breen / Vocals/Synth
- Tom Chan / Drums
- Tony Chan / Bass
- Cole Young / Guitar/Programming
- Bryce Jasman / Guitar
List of tracks “Encased In Chrome”:
- Encased in chrome
- impending impending power
- Unforgiven Remains (with Guilty Simpson)
- sharp narcotics
- solar hallucinations
- Be all end all
Trench is a name you will see more and more. Their latest EP “Encased In Chrome” deserves everyone’s attention. In no time, the Calgary 5-piece obliterates the listener with a calculated chaos that only comes from a band that knows exactly how to write at this level of extreme metal. The production is intense and authoritative, as it should be, and the integration of new sounds and approaches to the band’s personality is worth all the praise they receive. Don’t skip this EP.