Enforced
War Remains


3.8
excellent

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
April 20th, 2023 | 60 replies


Release Date: 04/28/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Off the couch and into the mosh pit

Pushing people into the mosh pit since 2017, crossover thrash collective Enforced has been making a name for itself as one of the genre's leading powerhouses in recent years. Not necessarily by bringing anything new to the style, which peaked in the second half of the 1980s, but rather by revitalizing it through authenticity and songwriting prowess. Their blend of hardcore and Slayer-esque thrash, while not groundbreaking, captures the best of both worlds in a recipe that has all the right ingredients to please a hybrid audience that refuses to live on nostalgia alone. More sophisticated than its 2019’s predecessor, the quintet's sophomore release, Kill Grid, exposed a more thoughtful and meticulous approach, attentive to the smallest detail and focused on improving the original formula without losing its core essence. War Remains, on the other hand, has a more organic feel; a more carefree vibe, if you will, mirroring the band's more spontaneous side. While not without its obvious virtues, this spontaneous combustion is somewhat paradoxical in that it can be viewed in two opposite ways: one that welcomes the more organic nature of the music, and another that fears the collective has reached the end of the road creatively, entering the final stage of implosion. Either way, we should contextualize War Remains within its stylistic niche, which is anything but pretentious.

By choosing a more straightforward path and making it nearly ten minutes shorter than Kill Grid, despite having one more track, the Richmond, Virginia-based quintet deliberately aimed for a more concise and lethal outcome. A creative process at all similar to that taken by Slayer on their 1986 classic, Reign in Blood, with the difference being that unlike the thrash legends, who managed to fashion something different, never witnessed before, Enforced didn't tamper with their crossover formula. By doing so, the lads are implying that they don't want to leave, at least for now, their comfort zone, thus reassuring those who don't want to see Colby & Co go off the beaten track to explore bolder territory. Why would they? There are already a plethora of bands doing it. ("Hey, leave my old-school crossover alone, please."). Overwhelming fast tempos intertwine with slow and mid-paced segments in a vibrant symbiosis that only this genre can deliver. Tracks like 'Aggressive Menace', 'Hanged by My Hand', 'Ultra Violence' or 'Mercy Killing Fields' overflow with energy and enthusiasm, with the latter featuring one of the most creative choruses the band has ever recorded. There is little or hardly any contrast throughout War Remains beyond what spontaneously emerges from the hybrid style itself. The Slayer-ish riffing and dual harmonies are still very much present, once again exposing the band's biggest influence and most distinctive trait. The overpowering slow-paced section on 'Avarice' or the Seasons in the Abyss-esque parts in 'Mercy Killing Fields' and 'Empire' are among the moments that best illustrate the lads' devotion to the thrash gods. As a fanboy and lifelong disciple, I welcome these tributes with open arms, for they evoke echoes of a glorious and unrepeatable past. Nevertheless, it is at the crossroads between this more classic metal side and its more straightforward and irreverent hardcore counterpart that War Remains lies. As it should be. And if I had to guess, it's something that will never change. In a time of uncertainty, in which everything changes, and nothing is what it seems to be, it's good to have some anchors, even if they come with some predictability. The band's stylistic consistency and lineup stability, which has remained unchanged since their debut, not only strengthen this sense of reliability but ensure a cohesive sound every step of the way.

Unsurprisingly, Enforced's third chapter throws us off the couch and into the front of the stage, whether we like it or not. It's a one-way ticket to the mosh pit that evokes simpler times when extreme music was experienced with body and soul rather than through the lens of a smartphone. And even if that means a few bruises, at least you know you're still alive.



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user ratings (99)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Good jam, as expected 🤘

War Remains comes out April 28th

ChaoticVortex
April 20th 2023


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuckyeah, these guys sherd hard, just a nasty and vicious blend of thrash, crossover and some DM that hit like a fukin truck. looking foward to jamming to this. Great review.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Cheers ;)

BitterJalapenoJr
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2023


992 Comments


nice one - I enjoyed Kill Grid so looking forward to this - sweet review as always.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2023


31804 Comments


Nice one Fer.

I always confuse these guys with Enforcer so I thought you were reviewing that one cause they're also releasing soon lol

DungeonBoy
April 21st 2023


9660 Comments


Looking forward to jamming this. Band rules

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2023


10629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Ace review summary.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Cheers, guys ;)



Hahah I don't think you're the only one, Dewinged

south_of_heaven 11
April 21st 2023


5606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can’t wait for this

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2023


18241 Comments


Off the couch and into the Fern pit



m/

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

🤘

Jmal00
April 22nd 2023


31 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Petition to start calling bands like this and Power Trip and High Command- Toxic Thrash. Of course inspired by Toxic Holocaust. It’s a handy tag.

Viraemias
April 23rd 2023


326 Comments


"Petition to start calling bands like this and Power Trip and High Command- Toxic Thrash. Of course inspired by Toxic Holocaust. It’s a handy tag."

That's a badass sounding genre label. Most importantly it would help me find more bands that produce that type of music. I'm not a fan of classic thrash, however this new wave / crossover type of thrash is golden

DungeonBoy
April 23rd 2023


9660 Comments


Yeah I think the widely accepted genre tag for this style is Crossover Thrash

Jmal00
April 24th 2023


31 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When you say crossover I think of DRI, Municipal Waste, ST etc.These bands sound pretty much nothing like that so i think a new tag is necessary. If I’m getting recommended some crossover I’m expecting punk vocals, short songs and certainly not anything this heavy.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

The genre dilemma. It has been driving people crazy for centuries

south_of_heaven 11
April 27th 2023


5606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Straight violence.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2023


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Judging by your nickname you know where the best riffs are

GhostShelter
April 27th 2023


806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It does need its own name, and not a stupid one like “crossover thrash”. Also is this album out or what? Not on Spotify.

pizzamachine
April 27th 2023


26489 Comments


Sorry playa



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