|Review: Entropy - Ashen Existence|
Year released: 1992
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: March 15, 2021
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Rated 4.22/5 (84.44%) (9 Votes)
Entropy are among the numerous never-heard-of-them Thrash bands to come out in the early '90s, around the time when the scene at large was dying due to oversaturation and the emergence of Grunge. Of course, there was an emerging scene of more technical and progressive Thrash bands around the same time that tried to do more with the genre than just stagnate. With their debut, Ashen Existence, Entropy showed that they were not only a worthy part of that scene, but arguably among the better bands working in it.
Entropy worked in a very technical vein of Thrash not too far removed from their American contemporaries Exhorder, albeit without the Groove leanings and perhaps a little more experimentation in their sound. The playing is as tight and complex as you'd expect from the style, but while many bands in this vein would forget to wrap all that into a coherent structure, Entropy wrote intricate and often strange songs that could go from blistering intensity to Death Metal sentiments all the way to moody and often gorgeous melodic sections at the drop of a hat, all while never losing focus in the slightest. This is all propped up with a top-notch production job and some first-rate musicianship, ranging from the face-ripping guitar work to the eye-popping drumming to the urgent and varied deliver of vocalist Gerry Schreinert, which ranges from the expected Thrash snarls to a deathy grunt to even some high-octane wails. All together, this leads to a killer album of complex and slightly experimental Thrash, with songs like the moody "Darkness Weaves", the vicious and borderline Death/Thrash "Psionic Dissection", and the colossal album closer "Traces of Time" proving to be lost classics.
All that said, the band occasionally stretched their songs out a little longer than they needed to be, with individual sections wearing out their welcome in even the best songs. This is particularly evident on the 9-minute "Exalted Sith", which has some killer moments but starts to drag in the middle and would have benefited by being cut down by a minute or two overall. Still, it's always great to find a quality Thrash release from a time when many were starting to consider it a tired and dated genre, and Entropy are absolutely proof that there was still life to be found in it. Despite a reissue some time in 2010, this can be pretty hard to find, but for fans of more obscure and complex underground Thrash, this is a release to treasure.
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