Wretched

Beyond the Gate

01. Birthing Sloth
02. The Deed of Elturiel
03. In the Marrow
04. A Still Mantra
05. Cimmerian Shamballa
06. On the Horizon
07. Part I – Aberration
08. Part II – Beyond The Gate
09. My Carrion
10. The Guardians of Uraitahn
11. The Talisman
12. Eternal Translucence

[Victory | 08/03/10]

Wretched is a tough band to describe. Personally, I consider them to be technical-death metal. Some will read this and immediately think of Beneath the Massacre or Brain Drill, but Wretched sounds nothing like either. They use technical and progressive riffs throughout, but they take a back seat to the blast beats  and shreds that sound most similar to The Black Dahlia Murder. The proggy and techy riffs are deliberately written as part of the song structure, and for this reason never interrupt the listening experience like one might think. This description specifically describes their latest album, Beyond the Gate.

Wretched’s first album, The Exodus of Autonomy, was a little more chuggier and at times sounded like Through The Eyes of The Dead’s Bloodlust. Beyond the Gate trades out much of the chugging (though not all of it) for plenty of screaming guitar solos. The shift in album art between the two albums coincides with this change, displaying an ominous face melting blast furnace.

The first song, “Birthing Sloth”, sets the tone for the album, sounding most similar to TBDM’S Deflorate with added prog and tech riffs.  The track closes with an older slow piano-key tapping Spanish tune. It creates a creepy atmosphere similar to the older music featured in the PC game Bioshock. Spanish themes were also featured on The Exodus of Autonomy, acoustically as part of several  instrumentals. These themes find their way back to Beyond the Gate as well. The third track, “In the Marrow”, serves as a bridge featuring a solo which resembles one found on The Red Chord’s “It Came From Over There”. Track five, “Cimmerian Shamballa”, shows off a groove-worthy riff that hints toward Between the Buried and Me. From this point forward Beyond the Gate enjoys three consecutive instrumentals. “On the Horizon” sounds like a symphonic orchestra, while “Part I: Aberration” starts off techy and then transitions to some Eastern Indian themes. “Part II: Beyond the Gate” enjoys the Spanish sounding melodic acoustics described previously. The album closes with the outro “Eternal Translucence”, which could be compared to The Chariot’s outro from “Daggers”, only much slower. This track is clearly used to close the album, and creates a dreadful helpless environment in doing so.

My only criticism with the album is “Part I: Aberration” loses flow toward the end of the track by dropping the Eastern Indian theme with no real transition but a brief moment of silence. This is very minor, though. Beyond the Gate demonstrates much improved and more concrete songwriting from The Exodus of Autonomy. The vocals largely remained the same in sound, but this is nothing to be critical of because they’re still good. While this review may seem “all over the place”, Wretched executes everything described under the umbrella of death-metal and the result is a diverse and rich piece of hard work.

Wretched – Beyond the Gate gets…

4.5/5

– PC

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