Gareth checks out one of our highly anticipated albums of the year, here’s his thoughts on Enforced!!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the attitude of Richmond thrashers Enforced, who with their third album ‘War Remains’ have come up with another slice of blistering metal, and if anything, they’re even more enraged and pissed off than before.
Enforced, have hit a winning formula, they take the best, and heaviest, parts of thrash and crossover, and create unapologetically aggressive metal, with violent riffing, pummelling bass, and pounding percussion, then throw in a dose of Slayer, and top it all off with the driven bark of Knox Colby. They take that principle and condense it into songs that range from about 2½ to 4 minutes, that never outstaying their welcome and are designed to give maximum punishment, this album is like being smacked around the head with a shovel for 33 minutes, and once the beating has subsided, you want to experience it all over again.
Straight out of the blocks comes opener ‘Aggressive Menace’, fast and furious, with guitarists Will Wagstaff and Zach Monahan, trading riffs and leads like no tomorrow, a three-minute smack to the chops. ‘The Quickening’ ironically slows things down, well for a few seconds at least, after some chunky bludgeoning, and a triplet or two, the song picks up with a squealing lead, and a barrage of double bass drums, before a sprint to the end.
The title track builds from a modest chug into an ever-increasing circle of pain, and for your troubles, abrasive riff after abrasive riff elbowing you in the vitals. ‘Mercy Killing Fields’ has a far from subtle execution, where jagged melodies grapple with thick chords to cut your flesh, then a huge steamroller like segment continues the abuse, with Knox sounding even more rabid than usual, before the breakdown at the end just finishes you off.
But there’s no time for respite, ‘Nation of Fear’ is a song of two halves, one slow and crippling the other rapid and yet just as deadly, guitars slicing with razor sharp precision, before ‘Empire’ brings the whole thing to a not so delicate conclusion, bringing to mind ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ with its cruel arpeggio chords tugging like barbed wire at your skin, before remorselessly beating you into a final submission.
For those of us already in the know, ‘War Remains’ is a welcome addition to the discography, building on first release ‘At the Walls’, and the brutal sophomore, 2021’s ‘Kill Grid’, there’s a comforting violence within the 10 tracks on offer, even the evocative black and white cover art follows the two proceeding albums.
If your yet to sample the delights of Enforced, what are you waiting for, get yourself a copy on order now, like garlic bread, this is the future!
Enforced – War Remains is out on the 28th April via Century Media