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Enforcer - Zenith

Enforcer
Zenith
by Chris Hawkins at 07 May 2019, 10:08 PM

It has been four long years since the release of the last ENFORCER album, “From Beyond”.  A lot has happened since.  Traditional Heavy Metal has grown more and more popular and prevalent as more bands seek to record the perfect follow-up to “Killers” or “British Steel”.  ENFORCER, though, while playing Heavy Metal seem to follow their own unique path attempting to avoid cashing in on the past success of others.  “Zenith” is the band’s fifth full-length and is out now on Nuclear Blast records.

Die for the Devil” seems to be the perfect lead track.  Beginning with some monster guitar and a signature scream, the verse section mellows a bit.  When the chorus hits, though, the energy is returned with a super catchy vocal line.  The is the kind of track that begs to be cranked.  Replete with expert soloing and guitar harmonies, this is an instant classic for the band.

Zenith of the Black Sun” is an ideal following song.  There is a heavy DIO vibe beginning with the clean intro and subsequent monster Metal riff.  The steady eighth notes promulgated by the deftly-played bass scream “Holy Diver”.  This is, however, an ENFORCER song. Olof’s vocals sound nothing like DIO as they have a more tenor quality.  The solo is nothing short of Heavy Metal acrobatics.  Background vocals add to the band’s originality with a nod to the classic Metal offerings of QUEEN.  The next track, “Searching for You,” showcases the band’s heavier side as it launches into displays of double-bass, scorching solos, and plentiful transitions of various tempos.

Thunder and Hell,” the eighth track, is an archetypal Speed Metal song.  The furious double-picking with blinding speed propels the song forward alongside the constant thunderous double-bass.  A surprising tremolo-picked segue played by both the guitars and bass mixes things up before the solos.  Again, the lead work is fantastic and ultimately this song will satisfy those who demand the heavier side of the band.  Closing the album is “Ode to Death”.  it begins with a haunting acoustic passage accompanied by bluesy lead work that sounds like rain trickling down softly outside.  This is a ballad but one of metallic proportions.  When things get heavy, a solid groove is maintained and one cannot help but think of the whole as being similar to classic MANOWAR anthems.  True, those are big words, but in their fifteen years of existence, ENFORCER have managed to develop a solid sound that they uniquely embellish making it all their own.  Also, it must be mentioned how amazing the bass solo is, tinged with distortion and Neo-Classically sublime.

The secret weapon to this album is polish.  Everything is done well, to the benefit of each song.  Each member contributes to the song equally with a like-minded mission.  Back in the day, this is the album that would have propelled the band to the cover of every Metal and guitar magazine and have their posters hung upon vast amounts of music and record store walls.  From the variety of the songs to their arrangement, all is done for the benefit of the album in total.  Bands don’t tend to write albums such as this anymore.  All lovers of classic Heavy Metal like DOKKEN, ACCEPT, TWISTED SISTER, and many more will gravitate towards “Zenith”.  It is an epic album full of professionally written and performed songs and will certainly help with the continued resurgence of classic Heavy Metal.

 Songwriting:  8
Originality:   7
Memorability:  7
Production:  8



4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Die for the Devil
2. Zenith of the Black Sun
3. Searching for You
4. Regrets
5. The End of the Universe
6. Sail On
7. One Thousand Years of Darkness
8. Thunder and Hell
9. Forever We Worship the Dark
10. Ode to Death

Lineup:
Olof Wikstrand- Guitars, Vocals
Jonas Wikstrand – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards, Piano
Tobias Lindqvist - Bass
Jonathan Nordwall – Guitars

Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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