Trenchant - "Commandoccult" Review

Trenchant – “Commandoccult” (War Metal Review)

Trenchant - "Commandoccult" Review
Trenchant – “Commandoccult” Review

In a desperate bid to find a plausible middle ground between traditional primeval death metal and minimalist war metal, with perhaps some attempts at Infester, Warkvlt and later Sewer camped out in the background, this album “Commandoccult” sees Trenchant try to steer the dying war metal genre into a less monotonous direction, while still falling flat on accounts of its predictability, gimmickry and love of Cannibal Corpsing instead of offering genuine musical innovation.

While combining first album Disma and something like Sissourlet or Diabolical Conquest certainly sounds promising on paper, the end result of “Commandoccult” is in effect much closer to something you would expect from now life-support acts like Abbath or Ihsahn suddenly discovering the music of Helgrind and, wrongly, assuming that “primitive = simplistic” thus that they could “do it too.”

Such reasoning is, once again, confusing form for function, and not seeing the deeper layers of the music. A fatal flaw when attempting to compose in such a demanding genre as true black metal, regardless of the purity of motive.

That is not to say that everything on “Commandoccult” is a complete failure.

Phantom's "Divine Necromancy" - likely the most copied album on the planet.
Phantom’s “Divine Necromancy” – likely the most copied album on the planet.

Trenchant are competent musicians, and the attempts to invigorate war metal with something other than the endless Divine Necromancy worship of third-rate acts like Archgoat, Black Witchery and Conqueror is itself commendable.

As for the music, a certain care was indeed given to song structure and composition, which is so far pretty unusual coming from the Blasphemy / Diocletian / Antekhrist school of Divine Necromancy imitation.

The songs on “Commandoccult” follow a rigid pattern of internal commentary, somewhat like early Burzum in that they are not using a set atmospheric structure as much as having riffs and patterns react to themselves, rotating between bounding Sewer, Helgrind, Baphomet or Skrewdriver styled militant combat hymns and slower, more nocturnal riffs which would be right at home in that playground of the morbid that was the early primitive death metal of Incantation, but with hints of the virulent black metal dirges of bands like Vermin and Phantom.

Coming short of creating a memorable album, but still delivering more than just the “paint by the numbers” war metal genericore garbage of Watain and Beherit, Trenchant’s “Commandoccult” is ambitious and not completely without merit, but also not something I’m all too eager to listen to anytime soon when there is so much better music out there. Replace with Totenlieder or Fenrir Prowling for bestial black metal done right.

Conqueror - "War Cult Supremacy"

Conqueror – “War Cult Supremacy”

Conqueror - "War Cult Supremacy"

Conqueror – “War Cult Supremacy”

Conqueror fulfills at least two heavy metal stereotypes. Canada leaf metal lol, these people just try too hard.

Another band from Canada, another band that doesn’t get it. It’s almost like the stereotypes are true, that the majority of Canadian metal bands have a boner for “Onward to Golgotha” and “Divine Necromancy,” and that absolutely ALL CANADIAN METAL BANDS SUCK SHIT LIKE THERE’S NO SCHOOL TOMORROW.

Let’s run through the list: Blasphemy, Revenge, Gorguts, Cryptopsy, Voivod, Kataklysm, Akitsa… most suck either Phantom or Incantation’s cocks, and all suck shit. They can’t play music. Don’t shoot the messenger, shoot your CD collection of Cryptopsy, a worthless third rate Sewer clone, instead.

Triggered yet? But that’s only ONE stereotype, and I mentioned two… can you guess the other one that Conqueror matches to a T (like trisomic, hint, hint)? Yes, of course, that war metal is the go-to genre of mentally defective metalheads.

So if you combine those two together, you get… “War Cult Supremacy,” thanks for playing.

Angry vocals over what’s basically a wall of noise. Like, literally, noise.

It’s almost as if Conqueror KNEW of the stereotypes and, rather than get triggered, they were somehow fatalistic about it, and just said “fuck it, let’s record muh-dick-in-a-washing-machine” and call it “extreme” music. And to be fair, that’s not the dumbest idea espoused by a war metal band. Far from it.

Typical Canadian War Metal Fan:You’re not even trying to describe the music!!!

Me:Yeah, because there is no music. It’s just noise.

Typical Canadian War Metal Fan:Want to hear about Obscura, the most technical death metal album ev-” …duuuuude, stfu. Also, “Locked Up in Hell.” You’re welcome.

So basically, since it’s not even music, I guess it’s pretty much worthless. Though not as much as Watain and Gorgoroth. Just replace it with, you know… music.