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After All - Dawn Of The Enforcer

After All
Dawn Of The Enforcer
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 June 2012, 12:06 PM

I have never dwelled that much on the material of the Belgian AFTER ALL though I think that I caught more than a few glimpses of their 2009’s album, “Cult Of Sin”. But when this new album of theirs, “Dawn Of The Enforcer”, via Roadrunner Records, came to my hands, I have to admit that it was a moment of celebration. As a huge fan of American Bay Area Thrash Metal, what AFTER ALL came to be on this album made me shed a tear. But let’s go a bit backwards to 2010. Back then it was announced that AFTER ALL replaced their vocalist and bass player for two new individuals, which one of them was ex-ABORTED. After releasing two EPs, one of them named “Becoming The Martyr” in 2011 that all of its tracks were enclosed in “Dawn Of The Enforcer” and most served as re-recordings to tracks that were a part of “Cult Of Sin”, AFTER ALL reached another milestone. They were signed to Roadrunner Records just last December. So after these two crucial events, it was for “Dawn Of The Enforcer” to improve that it wasn’t just another European Thrash album. There were important guests of the Bay Area infestation like Steve Smyth (FORBIDDEN), Joey Vera (ARMORED SAINT) and Juan Garcia & Bernie Versailles (AGENT STEEL) to aid the band rise to far up levels. In overall it proved that and the end result was great but inside looking out, it was just a reminder of how the Bay Area Thrash scene once sounded and felt like.

It has been quite a while since I listened to a band outside the US sovereignty that has the ability to perform and compose old school Thrash Metal just as the older ones did. AFTER ALL brought me back cherished memories of early FORBIDDEN, HEATHEN, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, ANTHRAX and AGENT STEEL. It is so great to listen to a Thrashing band smashing and slamming their surroundings with the never ending riff based of the better side of Thrash along with a new and melodic high pitched leading vocalist that also has the talent to be a little atrocious and vicious at times. The “Dawn Of The Enforcer” tracks, and I am talking about the new originals other than the 2011 recordings, is on a constant attack mode, best made with “Digital War“ & “Spread The Infamy”, aside from a little resting zone in the image of the album’s greatest track, “To Breach and Grieve”. Even though the material itself won’t renew anything for older Metalheads, AFTER ALL improved greatly since the “Cult Of Sin” album. From a darkened type of Thrash to something more hype, speedy, somewhat youthful and exciting. Just look what the substitution of a vocalist can do to a band; it is like changing one’s personality, pretty much like the hot Ed Repka artwork done for the album. Also I can’t let my ears go of how hiring a new producer on the mixing & mastering such as Dan Swano can also do for a Thrash band.

When it comes to themes “Dawn Of The Enforcer” is yet another whack to the face for all to see and feel. When it comes to mind control, electrical implants, robotic transformations and the processing of dictatorship into the heads of the people, AFTER ALL are signaling what nearly all Thrash bands spread throughout the 80s. Doom is upon us if we won’t pay attention to what is going on in our social environment, so beware, what you see on MTV or various reality shows isn’t real. The future can be something good but it should be viewed with a little amount of suspicion. I recommend checking out this fine album. I see a wonderful pattern starting here; I would really like to see how it goes.

4 Star Rating

1.Parasite Within
2.Timeless Machine
3.Digital War
4.Spread the Infamy
5.Becoming the Martyr
6.To Breach and Grieve
7.Demolition Course
8.Betrayed by the Gods (2011)
9.My Own Sacrifice (2011)
10.Devastation Done (2011)
11.End of Your World (2011)
Sammy Peleman– Vocals
Dries 'FJ' Van Damme – Guitars
X-tof Depree - Guitars
Frederik Vanmassenhove  - Bass
Kevin Strubbe - Drums
Record Label: Roadrunner Records


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