Enforcer - From Beyond (Nuclear Blast)

Harkening back to the glory daze, where it all began...
Release Date: 
6 Mar 2015 - 11:30pm

Our own Mickey Strong had a pop at Swedes Enforcer when reviewing their last album, the almost universally-acclaimed Death by Fire, claiming they were ‘morbidly obsessive’ in their quest to recreate the sounds of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the period a couple of years after that musical high water mark; And, listening to new album From Beyond you’d make two observations; Firstly, Mick was right, and secondly, Enforcer seem to have roundly ignored his robustly-argued opinion.

One listen to instrumental Hungry They Will Come will, however, disabuse you of any notion that Enforcer might have been wrong to do so. They’re sticking to their guns, and the world of heavy metal is undoubtedly a better place for all that. Olof Wikstrand and company simply slay in parts of …Beyond (notably on the title track, and the furious speed metal assault of The Banshee), and even when they ain’t in quite the toppest of forms they still manage to make a gloriously authentic heavy metal sound that most could only dream of. 

It’s hard to see how a band so mired in recreating the past can mature in any way, but Enforcer seem to be managing to do just that. Maybe it’s just a surety of touch, a knowledge that they’ve found the right path, or maybe they are just confident of the quality of the product they’ve come up with, but everything on From Beyond ups the ante on the previous album by ten percent at least. Wikstrand’s voice is more powerful, the soloing is sharper and thus more effective, the songwriting more assured – this is truly the work of a band on the up and up. The rollicking Farewell offers the most evidence of this – sure, the band is still happy to pilfer from the folder marked ‘KILLERS’ whenever they get the chance, but whereas in the past that’s all it’s been, 2015 sees the band actually bulding on those influences and adding a bit of personality to the mix. It’s a heady combination and, if the band can keep refining it, there’s no reason why they shouldn't join their idols in the pantheon of metal glory in years to come.

Last year Canadians Striker delivered the best eighties-inspired metal album in the spine-tinglingly good City of Gold; this year Enforcer have every chance of taking on that mantle with From Beyond. These are exciting times for the band indeed.