The year is 2017. The place Richmond. Out of shreds of punk and hardcore bands forms Enforced. And now, in these grim and dark times, they drop their thrashing death bomb on the word. ‘Kill Grid‘ is the band’s second full-length album, after their debut album ‘At the Walls‘ in 2019, and the first on their new label Century Media Records. The songs on the album draw from several more “extreme” styles such as thrash, punk, death metal and hardcore. It’s hard, it’s fast and it’ll grab your attention until the end.
The album starts off with ‘The Doctrine‘. First off, there’s just this sound which is kind of like a wind blowing. Along comes some mysterious rising tone, think of the THX intro but more mysterious. Then come in the guitars and rattling toms and we’re off for a great opening track. The musicians use suspense of the intro to keep building up their forward momentum. And then the vocals come in and it’s on. From the start of the verse, their music is like a punch your face. Everything fits together in a tight whole and the different parts flawlessly blend over into each other. And to top it off, we’re awarded the first of many good solos.
This style carries on in the next tracks ‘UXO’ and ‘Beneath Me’, the latter also having a similar opening with an ominous sound. Enforced have a special kind of groove to them, where all instruments seamlessly blend together. Fast parts are combined with slower, groovy parts and some great harmonic work on the guitar part. But most importantly, we never come to a halt. ‘Malignance’ is the first track which has a more distinct thrash / crossover sound to it, occasionally tapping into some more death elements. And at the end of the track, there comes this well structured build up to end in a climactic solo.
We come from punk, hardcore, and metal, all of which can be taken to the extreme – and we love everything about it. I love anything that inspires me in either how extreme or how good the songwriting is – or both !Will Wagstaff, Enforced guitarist
The fifth song on the album gets us to ‘Kill Grid’. Enforced have taken their time with structuring this song it seems. There’s a slow build up in the beginning, settings this menacing mood. They accomplish this mostly by dissonant sounds combined with an emphasis on rhythmic elements. Suddenly comes in a solo to lead us into the first riff. It keeps the sinister mood going while driving it home with its fast pace. After that, the guys settle down in a more grooving part. There’s a sudden interruption and here comes the first verse. This push and pull effect continues throughout the song. The end keeps grooving along to come to an end with a sustained chord. And while ringing out, some flanging effect kicks in which creates an unsettling sound to make the song finish in dissonant looming end.
‘Curtain Fire’ and ‘Hemorrhage’ tap more into the hardcore side of things. They’re great tracks and there’s happening some interesting stuff, especially on the rhythmic ideas. ‘Blood Ribbon’ and ‘Trespasser’ on the other hand show a lot more thrash and death influences. You can certainly hear some Sacred Reich or Bolt Thrower in there. But Enforced takes these influences and contains their distinct sound within it all.
With ‘Kill Grid‘ Enforced has certainly made a promising start on Century Media. All players are locked in well together and it’s clear that performing with many different live acts has shaped them into the musicians they are today. They’ve continued to work on all of their records with engineer Bob Quirk (Iron Reagan) and it shows that all involved really know how to work together to put together a great album. Keep an eye (or ear) out for these guys because this won’t be last we hear from them.
Release date : March 12th, 2021
Label : Century Media Records
- The Doctrine
- Beneath Me
- Kill Grid
- Curtain Fire
- Blood Ribbon