The big draw here is Samoth of EMPEROR fame, the man now on to his third post-Emperor project after ZYKLON and SCUM, both of which are the possessors of interesting qualities in their own right. Getting that Zyklon reference out of the way immediately is of immense importance, because THE WRETCHED END is essentially a continuation of that collective, Samoth still intent on playing powerful and muscular death metal that is the perfect foil to the emaciated production that greeted most of the early ‘90s black metal of so many of his previous lives. Given the similarity to Zyklon, one wonders why Samoth didn’t simply keep that particular vehicle around, especially given the time and effort that went into its brand awareness; it seems like a monumental waste of momentum to start anew if you’re going to pursue the path you’ve previously travelled in order to get to this exact moment. That said, Inroads is an extremely well-executed record, the performances here as professional and meticulous as (humanly?) possible, the album a reflection of the Wretched End’s obvious careful attention to craft and workmanship. The interesting conversation starter is the total difference between Inroads and Eremita, Ihsahn’s latest solo album, and even only a preliminary listen to both explains the Emperor writing dynamic in more effective ways than anyone outside of that band could possibly express. If Zyklon played to your particular fascination streets, then Inroads is surely an effective remedy to your day-to-day malaise, this record capable of intense feats of strength, ruin and anything else that is the opposite of capitulation.