(Nuclear Blast)

01. Bitter Conflict
02. Unconditional
03. Life Ending Path
04. Inwards
05. Blueprints Of Hate
06. Locked In Motion
07. Degeneration
08. Terminal Mindstrip
09. Feeling Not
10. Reprisal

RATING: 7/10

Tailor-made for fans of SLAYER and THE HAUNTED, Germany's DEW-SCENTED specialize in the kind of old-school thrash that is rarely heard nowadays—full of high-energy rhythms, double-bass drums, dizzying riffs and screamed-out vocals that are consistent in their full-on aggression and lack of melody. It's delivered with great conviction, a fact helped in no small part by the surprisingly powerful production of Andy Classen, who managed to give the album (the group's fourth) a crisp sound without sacrificing any of the songs' over-the-top brutality.

Unlike most of the Gothenburg, Sweden-based acts that execute this kind of stuff with an increased emphasis on guitar harmonies and dynamics, DEW-SCENTED appear intent on pounding the listener into submission with a non-stop attack of the senses, refusing to let up for one moment while churning out the kind of material that would make any fans of the aforementioned groups proud.

Of course, such a one-dimensional approach does not come without a price, and in DEW-SCENTED's case, most of these songs tend to come across as virtually undistinguishable from one another, their relentless intensity and relative unoriginality insuring that only the most ardent of thrash fans will be able to appreciate the no-frills nature of the band's songwriting efforts.

Preferring a more varied, dynamics-laden approach myself, I find DEW-SCENTED's tunnel-vision delivery to be appealing in small doses only, with a full-length release like Inwards losing much of its steam at about the half-way point. That said, those of you that thrive on the unadulterated intensity practiced by the likes of THE HAUNTED and latter-day SLAYER will probably find plenty here to keep you satisfied.


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