Enforced
Kill Grid


4.2
excellent

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
March 14th, 2021 | 55 replies


Release Date: 03/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Compelled to headbang

headbanging (noun)
the activity of shaking your head up and down with great force to the beat of rock music
Cambridge Dictionary

Headbanging is to heavy metal what John Travolta's iconic pose is to disco. They're both inextricably linked. And Richmond's lads Enforced exploit this symbiosis like no other. Their retro hybrid crossover thrash approach, which combines the irreverence of hardcore with metal's musicality and songwriting formula, is designed to inflict maximum damage. We are compelled to headbang almost instinctively as if we were an active part of the machine or the inevitable result of its overwhelming effect. This reciprocity between music and listener is obviously transversal to all genres, however it takes on special significance in heavy metal given the strong bond between audiences and the band, especially at live shows. Anyone who has been in the front row or into a massive mosh pit understands this synergy perfectly.

While Enforced's debut album was basically a compilation of previous demo tapes, with a few extra tracks, Kill Grid features nine entirely new songs. This gives it greater responsibility, as it mirrors the band's work in a limited amount of time, with the extra pressure of having to live up to everyone's expectations. Another relevant aspect is related to the fact that Kill Grid was recorded before the pandemic started, which means the lyrics don't focus on this particular subject but rather on how human life has become increasingly expendable in recent decades.

I'll have to admit I welcomed Kill Grid with high expectations, not only due to the promising debut but also because of the killer singles that preceded it, especially 'Malignance'. This track synthesizes everything I like about the genre, namely its overwhelming power and speed. This sort of energy can be found in songs such as 'No Compromise' by Xentrix or 'Hammerhead' by Flotsam and Jetsam, and it mirrors a particular strength that only this genre can unleash. Yet Kill Grid is not just about speed. Slow and mid-paced tempos are also exploited effectively in songs like the title track or 'Trespasser', with the latter ending in a massive crescendo. Groove, reminiscent of the band's hardcore backgrounds, is everywhere, but this time around it's accompanied by a pronounced Slayer influence, sensed in songs like 'Blood Ribbon', 'Curtain Fire' and 'Beneath Me', with the former featuring a riff that reminds me of 'Skeletons of Society'. The band's crossover formula in addition to mixing hardcore and thrash also holds a death metal layer that adds power to the mix. The Cannibal Corpse-esque riff at the beginning of 'Hemorrhage' or the tremolo picking in 'The Doctrine' are both examples of this lethal blend. If I had to choose three bands embedded in Kill Grid's DNA, I would pick Slayer, Sepultura and Cannibal Corpse. Although the band displays a wider range of influences, this trio somehow manages to condense the album's stylistic approach.

Musical performances are top-notch, denoting perfect symbiosis between musicians. Will Wagstaff and Zach Monahan's powerful rhythm guitars lead the way, backed by a super solid rhythm section that provides the proper foundation through which all lads orbit. Knox Colby's street vocals are also a key part of the machine, adding an indispensable hardcore layer to the whole. This tight chemistry is only achieved through dedication, long rehearsals, and a common goal. And even though the album provides a somewhat monochromatic approach, the band managed to live up to the expectations in full.

With their sophomore release, Enforced not only succeeds in solidifying their identity but also establishes themselves as one of the undisputed front-runners of the crossover thrash metal scene. I know it's as cliché as it gets, but I couldn't think of a better way to put it. Those who, like me, think headbanging and mosh-pit dancing are among the greatest achievements of modern post-industrial society, will find Kill Grid the ultimate DeLorean experience that will take them back to the glorious metal days. Just make sure you have your supply of plutonium ready and your vintage Slayer t-shirt on. Buckle up, crank up the volume, and enjoy the ride.



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user ratings (88)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2021


15866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Album is a banger, it will certainly be among the best of the year within the genre.

Kill Gird is available on all streaming platforms.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

Ebola
March 15th 2021


3943 Comments


this destroys. UXO is melting my face

FabiusPictor202
March 15th 2021


560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

entertaining

Digging: Viscera Infest - Verrucous Carcinoma

bigguytoo9
March 15th 2021


984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty solid album for sure.

aaronrkc
March 15th 2021


387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Booked them in my friend's basement in January 2020 and it was one of the most fun metal sets I've ever watched.

Digging: Regional Justice Center - Crime and Punishment

DDDeftoneDDD
March 15th 2021


16923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

man...

this album gets me so angry m/ will read this asap!

Digging: Kauan - Ice Fleet

south_of_heaven 11
March 15th 2021


5569 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This clicked with me so much more than At the Walls, probably because of the larger thrash influence.



Between this, The Crown, and Paranorm, it's been a great couple of weeks.

Digging: Demiser - Through the Gate Eternal

DDDeftoneDDD
March 15th 2021


16923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Paranorm was cool too! I wouldn't mind if they went a little heavier tho. Still need to check The Crown!

Have you by any chance checked Mefitis?

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2021


15866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Yeah, the thrash influence is more pronounced here than on the previous release, especially the Slayer-ish vibes.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2021


5903 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The rating feels a bit generous, since I didn't feel much improvement over "At the Walls". But it was a fun album!

Digging: Keygen Church - ????????????

DDDeftoneDDD
March 15th 2021


16923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I think they both fit the bill

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2021


15866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I love both, yet I feel that the lads have taken a step forward. The album is more focused, especially on the small details and musical performances. It's also more metal than the previous, which works just fine for me ;)

DDDeftoneDDD
March 15th 2021


16923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

lol fuck yeah, love that starting definition m/

DePlazz
March 15th 2021


2772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This goes hard. Enjoying the ride cymbal parts in particular.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2021


15866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Yeah, the ride sounds nice, especially in the opener.

DePlazz
March 15th 2021


2772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It gets used a lot, I like it along with the guitar work.

DePlazz
March 15th 2021


2772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you dig this check Madrost's "Essence of Time", it has similar drive and energy.

botb
March 15th 2021


14408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love to see the boys getting this praise

DungeonBoy
March 15th 2021


8164 Comments


bummed as hell, went to go pick this up at vinyl conflict on saturday and they sold out of all their copies the day before when it was released.. so still haven't listened to it yet, but will probably check it before I can snag the record

Digging: Dvne - Etemen ∆nka

Pikazilla
March 15th 2021


15478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it rules ofc



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