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Enforced – Kill Grid

Kill Grid
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 28 June 2021, 6:40 AM

ENFORCED is a thrash metal band from Richmond, Virginia who formed in 2016.  “Kill Grid,” is their second full length album; they also released two demos in 2017.  You can call this thrash, death/thrash, crossover or whatever.  It doesn’t really matter what you call it because it is a means to an end.  And what is that end?  Balls out destruction.  Seriously, this album is so fast, uncompromsing, and energetic that after finishing it the first time I was damn near exhausted.  Also, I do not recommend listening to this album in your car unless you want a speeding ticket.  “Kill Grid” is an album that gives new meaning to meaning of high octane.

The album sounds clear and concise, which is what I want in this style.  These fast notes and blazing speed need to be heard and I just don’t think it would have the same feeling if it was buried under layers of filth and grime.  That make work for more extreme bands but “Kill Grid” has the production and mixing that brings out the best of this style. The album opens with “The Doctrine,” and it waits a whole twenty seconds before ripping my face off. A flurry of snare and deep bass rushes through me while the riffs rip apart whatever is left.  Did I mention how great the guitar tone is?  I didn’t?  Well, it is well built for destruction on a grand scale. When Knox’s vocals come in, total dehumanization of my being is completed.  This guy is a BEAST with a massive voice.  Its a combination of a hardcore punk, thrash yell and death growls and he uses it with deadly intentions.  The guitar is as pissed off as the riffs, cascading down into the fire and pulling everything with it.

Beneath Me,” is a two and a half minute death ride and doesn’t let up for a second.  Alex’s drums and Ethan’s bass stay interesting and audible even as this level of speed, which is good, because they provide a good low end that keeps the music from being too thin.  The guitar riffs behind the guitar solo galloping at decapitation height and Knox’s rams the whole thing home with a primal scream, ending the song with a wallop. I didn’t think music like this could keep my interest for over seven minutes but the title track proves how stupid I really am to think such a thing.  This song has a particularity more subdued beginning than the others.  The riffs here take their time and hang on just long enough before bashing down again.  The guitar solo is thoughtful yet melodic—and is the perfect lead in for the total thrash that follows.  Every get so excited that all that pent up energy just runs up your body in waves and the anticipation of the coming moment makes you shake?  Yeah, that is this song.  For nearly three minutes, this song is an explosion.  The vocals hit and then the explosion explodes.  The riffs open up around the five minute mark and after the blazing solo, odd noises that sound like feedback end the song.

I’ve never been trampled upon or ran over by a thousand feet but I would imagine it sounds something like “Hemorrhage.”  Can thrash be brutal?  Apparently it can.  Each vocal line is a punch to the face while the instrumental portion are kicks to the stomach.  There is a moment to catch breath though because about halfway through the song the band doubles down on…everything and just becomes a bludgeoning too.  The most intense thrash song I have heard all year, hands down.

The final track is “Trespasser,” and it has a classic thrash atmosphere to it, complete with gang vocals.  The riffs seem more full and more focused on actual rhythm, something band is just as good at as anything else.  All in all, ENFORCED’s “Kill Grid” is a musical energy drink but with enough depth and attitude to warrant multiple drinks.  Thrash is my least listened to genre but this album makes a good case for me to change that.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Doctrine
2. UXO
3. Beneath Me
4. Malignance
5. Kill Grid
6. Curtain Fire
7. Hemorrhage
8. Blood Ribbon
9. Trespasser
Ethan Gensurowsky - Bass
Alex Bishop - Drums
Will Wagstaff - Guitars
Zach Monahan - Guitars
Knox Colby – Vocals
Record Label: Century Media Records


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