Everyone get your thrash holes all lubed up because today we got one of the best modern bands to do it: Enforced. Starting with their first LP, At the Walls then again with Kill Grid, they’ve managed to walk a very fine line between golden-era crossover homage influence with modern heft, not unlike the great Power Trip. It’s great to confirm then that War Remains continues that streak of quality while inching forward in progress like a Greek phalanx.
I think one thing we can all agree on when it comes to good thrash is that it must bring the riffs - the music has to be highly competent in both catchiness and keeping the momentum going. Enforced could be considered a standard-bearer in that regard by now each song delivering anything from a nice mid-tempo chug to frenetic fretwork that could ignite the fuze of dynamite. “Aggressive Menace” is aptly named; menacing, punky drums and flashy guitar work is the highlight and Knox Colby just belts his lyrics out. I like to think the vocals are coming from the distorted, tormented maw on the album’s cover - certainly sounds like they could be.
It’s difficult to single out any particular song for distinct reasons because - and you can interpret this as a negative if you want - they all ride that same crossover high. No ambient tracks, no interlude, there’s not even drawn-out intros or outros. This shit rips constantly and tears unstoppably; it’s a strength in the sense that the one thing it does, it does really well. No use in stretching yourself too thin or trying to be something you’re not. No one could ever level that criticism at Enforced, and good for them.
Still, let’s talk about a couple more tracks. The title track is exceptional, even amongst other exceptional songs, because it’s the longest and uses every moment to its fullest. My favorite is the ending with decimating double-kick drumming that seals the deal and makes for a killer finish to what was already beyond solid work. The solo ain’t bad either. “Mercy Killing Fields” does something similar with its conclusion too. This is a good time to mention guitar and bass tones as well, which are great, and the polished-yet-gritty production style that lends some power and clarity to Enforced’s brand of brutality.
War Remains is just a gangbang of pain and strife, even down to the video for “Starve” which is old-school in its dramatic narrative approach with a man spiraling down as he watches a world collapse from social ills, war, and environmental destruction. For the music, though, this all translates to a good time - a place for that pain and strife to distill into aggression and anger. It’s injustice made cathartic, and while Enforced may not solve any world issues here, they may spark the mind that does, shout out to Tupac Shakur.
Bottom line: this is Enforced’s third album in, yet it feels like an impressive young band’s first LP and as rock solid and learned as a veteran band twice their age still showing the youngins up. During a time when we’re getting served mid-ass work that achieves neither feat, an album like War Remains is a welcome reprieve for thrashers, heshers, and any manner of motherfucker that just wants to practice Tekken combos in the pit to good music.
8 commentsPost Comment
This review and reviewer both suck ass
The first record I bought this year. Great stuff indeed.
A review full of praise then 7….I get it they aren't Zulu
^nailed it. Zulu status is not given, it is earned.
Lambgoat reviews think they work for pitchfork
Zulu status is sponsored in part by ESG
who is this journalist? ive never some across such terrible writing. no flow to the review.
This review really floats my goat... my lamb goat