Enforcer – From Beyond
2015, Nuclear Blast
Above and beyond – and not just in terms of high notes…
Blah-blah galloping basslines blah-blah twin guitar attack blah-blah soaring vocals blah-blah any other classic heavy metal descriptive cliché you can think of…it’s Enforcer, it’s old school, we know what it sounds like, so let’s cut to the chase – is it any good?
Well, it’s Enforcer, it’s old school…of course it’s bloody good. Album number four and Sweden’s purveyors of all that is holy and hairsprayed have lost none of the barely restrained energy and passion that saw previous albums, like 2010’s lauded Diamonds, set the NWOBHM-throwback bar. Thrashy opener Destroyer sets a high-powered pace, while second track Undying Evil provides the first addictively anthemic chorus; from there the album remains consistent in both delivering a gleaming set of vivacious heavy metal tracks and verifying why Enforcer remain in the elite class of the trad revivalists.
In line with previous albums, From Beyond is memorable throughout and likewise pauses for breath during the longer tracks which allow the band to showcase the musicianship and writing that has canonised Enforcer. What sets From Beyond slightly apart from its predecessors however, are Olof Wikstrand’s uncompromising vocals. High-in the mix and consistently impassioned, the harmonies, high notes and classic metal screams are seemingly unquellable and herein, slightly more so than previously, seem to have been truly unleashed.
From Beyond is easily on par with Enforcer’s previous releases, and similarly flaunts why the band occupy a space at the top of the trad table. A few degrees higher than Death By Fire to be sure, but whether it surpasses Diamonds is a question I don’t care to dwell on when the headbanging is this good (8.5/10).
NB, the video for Destroyer is the best thing to come out of 198-whatever via 2015. Fuck the teen-angst epics, bad graphics and pretentious lyric videos – THIS is a heavy metal video…