Enforcer

Into The Night

Written by: EW on 01/06/2009 14:00:22

My next album combo is brought to you by two sets of Swedes who think they're British, or at least wish they were British sometime around 1980 to 1984 - Enforcer and RAM. Both bands are exponents of the classic heavy metal sound so popular 25+ years ago, which surprisingly has held out well in large part to it's faithful upkeep by the generation of Enforcer's born during, or even after, NWOBHM's classic days.

Enforcer's take on the style is part NWOBHM, part speed metal that by its very nature is deeply rooted in the 1980's but for the sake of their debut album, "Into The Night", has been brought back to life for their own ritualistic needs. However, more than just parodying Iron Maiden and Angel Witch to death, Enforcer feature a considerable dollop of American speed metal bands like Exciter, Heathen and some band called Metallica via similarities to their "Kill 'Em All" debut that gives the album a vigorous and energetic youthful feel. What can be said about "Into The Night" is that it showcases a band who play the music they love, and love the music they play, which while entirely admirable puts them on a lesser footing against RAM's effort where this passion is combined with a greater songwriting panache and a more intuitive feel of adding one's own mark to the music.

All 9 songs follow a very similar style - the riffs of the NWOBHM age are digested and spat back out much faster and more rhythmically, resulting in songs like "Speed Queen" baring this large "Kill 'Em All" feel, unsurprising really as that is entirely the process Metallica were going through some 25 years ago. You can almost hear Olof 'Enforcer' Wikstrand smiling throughout in a Dave Lee Roth manner during "Black Angel" and the title track such is his obvious pleasure at having 'his' band's debut album out. But as pleasing as this and the Angel Witch-influenced numbers like "On The Loose" and "City Lights" are to listen to while sitting back with a beer or will be on the way to this summer's festivals, it is hard to get much deeper feelings for the songs with a greater development of Enforcer's own style yet being visible. "City Lights" thunders by with plenty of intricate lead work before breaking into some nice blues improvisation and "Scream Of The Savage" is plentiful in it's speed, all very good I must say, but that extra edge of competence to send the album into the realms of the great is not quite honed yet.

There is no harm in a young band ably performing songs dedicated to their heroes, and "Into The Night" does this well indeed, but this band's name will be made by something that combines the old with something more personal, otherwise the temptation just to stick on "Kill 'Em All" or "Angel Witch" instead might just become too great. Time for RAM...

6

Download: City Lights, Speed Queen
For The Fans Of: Metallica, Angel Witch, Exciter
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 18.11.08
Heavy Artillery Records

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