Philadelphia's Trench Rot, featuring Infiltrator's Steve Jansson as well as his fellow Crypt Sermon friend Brooks Wilson, set out to leave a dent on a scene which, for New Jersey and Philadelphia is small and lazy. Death Metal at this caliber is difficult to track down in the area and with the exception of some heavyweights like Funebrarum and Evoken and some more obscure, but no less impressive - and no less old school - bands like Sapremia the area is somewhat underwhelming in the category. It seems there are more black metal bands in the immediate vicinity than there are pennies in a dollar. Dragged Down To Hell is the 2013 demo that preceded this year's Necronomic Warfare. Essentially, we are given a memorable three-track blitz of Asphyx, Entombed and Grave. The overall creation sounds a whole lot like Hail Of Bullets and certainly elements of Bolt Thrower appear, especially the intro riff of second track "Trapped Under Treads." In fact, there's a lot of general death metal deja-vu here, whether intended or not.
The intro to opener "Gallery of the Dead" fondly invokes memories of Deathevokation's Chalice of Ages before running rampant in a more generic but enjoyably vicious manner. "Gallery..." is a smoothly moving track and my only gripe is the use of samples at the end which aside from being a pet-peeve of mine, are unnecessary as the song slowly drifts out of earshot. "Trapped Under Treads" continues in a similar manner but some additional make this a less generic experience. The breakdown section is excellent as it displays the killer static tinged bass tone of Steve Geptik as he slides in and out of some pummeling half-beat groove. The verses also mimic Diatribes era Napalm Death - a period of their career which goes unnoticed by the metal community at large it seems. The last track, the title track, "Dragged Down To Hell," doesn't hit me as hard, even with a tasteful middle eastern flavored solo. It's still good material but I prefer the other options here. This is a powerful and well paced Death Metal demo displaying balance and refinement - something I expect in projects involving Steve and which is displayed in both Infiltrator and Crypt Sermon. Worth attention for Death Metal gurus, as it will probably incite a need to check out the debut.