Trenchgrinder – Peace is Forfeit Review

Residing among the war-torn streets of Brooklyn, New York, dodging hails of bullets on their way to and from practice, Trenchgrinder are the anthem of destruction. With the world seemingly collapsing on all sides, missiles pointed and ready to fire, Trenchgrinder is here to let you know that, while it’s not OK, it’s going to happen and there ain’t a goddamn thing you can do about it. So, stock your bomb shelters with canned foods, lock the safety hatch and wait for the apocalypse to wash over like a nuclear tsunami.

Trenchgrinder combines the riffing of Bolt Thrower with the crusty, hardcore/d-beat of Hellshock. The result is a mix that feels not only old school but, thanks to excellent production, fresher than a leg recently torn off a once healthy adolescent body by a mortar blast. Tracks like “Deterrence and Retribution” and “Lay the Earth to Rest” use a balanced attack to charge from chunky riffs into blistering solos, crusty breaks and eventually a more moderately paced attack. Balanced composition making for an ultimately smooth ride across what is a hellish landscape of rotting death.  

Elsewhere, “For the Knowledge of Blood” takes a more old school approach opening with solid guitar riffs and chaotic drumming. As the battle progresses vocals take the lead alternating between curdling growls and an almost hardcore-level shouting. Riding a core riff, the Bolt Thrower influence is likely most palpable in tracks like this one (and on the downtrodden riff in “Waking Terror”). The breaks, which features absolutely intoxicating riffs across the board, are certain headbangers.


“Destroyer Unmaker” and the closer “Desolation” both feature extended breaks of feedback, whining melodic affectations and some of the most brutal vocals on the album. The juxtaposition of the minimalist instrumental landscape underscoring harsh, gurgling vocals creates the feeling of the cessation of the din of battle. The time when corpses, piled high with men crouching behind them for cover are beginning to take stock of their losses as they search for a way to go on knowing that the horror will only continue.

Release date: October 17, 2017.
Label: Independent As Fuck.
Most versatile across Peace is Forfeit are the vocals. Owen Rundqvist, who is also the vocalist for Brooklyn’s Anicon (his Anicon bandmate Nolan Voss handled the pristine recording on Peace is Forfeit), affects a number of growls, howls and absolutely throat-wrenching screams that keep the continual waves of violence and aggression flowing throughout the entire thirty-three minutes of the release. Backing the uber-vocals is the relentless hammering of Robert Nelson (Mutant Supremacy, Skullshitter) and his battery-mate, bassist Denis Holocaust. Where Bolt Thrower was perhaps intentionally sloppy, Trenchgrinder is tighter than a general’s asshole on D-Day. Rounding out the quartet, Bill Dozer rips riffs and solos off like a machine-gunner mowing down his enemy across a clear field of fire.

In a world dominated by an endless flow of near perfect death metal, Trenchgrinder falls right into marching line adding elements of crust, hardcore and d-beat that makes it stand out from the crowd.Somewhat shockingly eschewing the tendency of Brooklyn bands to try and do too much, Trenchgrinder assaults the listener with an absolutely pitch-perfect approach. Don’t sleep on this release merely because it’s a digital only release. Expect a label to jump in and press this puppy to 180 gram vinyl in the near future.

Posted by Manny-O-Lito

Infinitely committed to the expansion of artistic horizons. Very interested in hearing your grandparent's anecdotes & recipes. @mannyowar

  1. Yes!!!!!!!!!


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