Gareth grabs one of our most anticipated releases of the year so far and gets a pummelling from the new Enforced Album, lets see if he enjoyed the bruises –
Some albums are designed for one thing, and one thing only; and that’s to rip your face off, beat you to within an inch of your life and punish you senseless.
Ok that’s three things, but you get my drift. ‘Kill Grid’ is one of those albums. Taking the blueprint from 2019s ‘At the Walls’ album, which was a combination of their remastered 2017 untitled demo, the ‘Retaliation’ demo of the same year, plus two new tracks, Richmond based Enforced, have come up with an even heavier release this time round. Calling themselves “Pure Crossover Death”, it’s pretty easy to see why, combining the chunky riffing of hardcore and thrash, the energy of punk, and the brutality of Death metal, they’ve come up with their own sound which is both familiar and also unique at the same time. The first thing that hits you, full on in the face, is the guitar sound, it’s both bludgeoning and yet razor sharp at the same time, bringing to mind the thickset riffing of Anthrax and SOD with the tone of Slayer, watch out guys, if the LA legends ever come out of retirement, they are going to want their guitar sound back! Engineered by Bob Quirk and mixed by Arthur Rizk, the production all round is nothing less than superb.
So onto the songs, starting with ‘The Doctrine’ which builds from a soft beginning with power chords and rolling toms, before settling into a palm muted groove, the riffs laid down by 6 string duo Will Wagstaff and Zach Monahan, before the deathly vocals of Knox Colby cut in. ‘UXO’ is up next, the band gathering momentum like an out of control tank, its thrash breakdown particularly grinding. ‘Malignance’ is short, sharp and to the point, riffs spewing out like bullets from an M16, before that Slayer like harmony section, and crushingly heavy outro. The title-track is the standout, the centerpiece of the album, it adds a different set of dynamics into the mix, it’s a bit slower, with a very powerful and classy intro, before a pounding mix of pulverising riffs and relentless bass and drums take over. ‘Curtain Fire’, is another one of my favourites, damn it, they’re all pretty good, those Slayer influences really coming to the fore again, with those intro melodies and lead tone. ‘Hemorrhage’ and ‘Blood Ribbon’ are both heavy as lead, the later with it’s slow gallop, metaphorically trampling you into the ground, it picks up speed and at the end is fast as a runaway train. Last up and rounding off this brilliant album is the equally chunky and fast ‘The Trespasser’, using multiple time changes and sections, it’s an exceptional end to a very fine metal album.
If you like your metal heavier than the entire contents of a scrapyard, get yourself a copy, you won’t be disappointed.
Enforced – Kill Grid is out This Friday March 12th On Century Media Records