Hardcore, Punk, Thrash Metal

Enforced – Kill Grid (Review)

Band: Enforced
Album: Kill Grid
Genre:  Thrash Metal/Crossover
Country: USA
Release Date: 12th of March, 2021 
Released via  Century Media Records
Cover Artwork ©  Century Media Records

Enforced are back and almost one year after their highly acclaimed debut album At The Walls they present Kill Grid, a new long player, which is also the first release together with Century Media. The American crossover band fires 9 explosive blasts at your ears you won’t forget in a hurry and mark another quality leap in the band’s history, which started with their striking demo released in 2017 and since then could increase the fan base more and more, quite rightfully. So put on your helmet and start this hell ride of “Uuuuuuurgh” ridden Thrash Metal combined with filthy stomping Punk!

The fact that there are no prisoners taken on Kill Grid is an aspect the listener becomes aware of after a few seconds, because once the well-produced Old School Thrash / Crossover hybrid starts to hammer, there is non-stop action and you realize that Enforced show all their skills. The sound still reminds of hard-hitting, Hardcore-influenced Metal bands like Power Trip and Black Breath, but this time it has more elements of classic Thrash Metal and reminds of mighty Slayer or early Sepultura on the guitars and some points of drumming . Accordingly, in addition to pronounced, chopping chainsaw riffing, there are one or the another metallic squealing inserts to discover, which breathes a lot of late 80’s charm into the songs of the combo. Especially the solo parts are extremely convincing and rousing, even if they do nothing really new, they move within the usual genre boundaries in some of the best ways you can imagine.

However, the raspy and sinister growls that you are used to from Enforced also spread a pleasant rotten Death Metal vibe again, which makes the band’s sound distinctive and slightly spices up the Thrash Metal slaughter on the 6-stringer. As on previous releases, the vocals are an absolute highlight for me, because they lend the whole thing its really rancid kick and sets it apart from a lot of other current crossover bands. Most of the songs lumber around here increasingly in high speed and can make the listener incessantly dizzy. During the massive rolling midtempo parts, on the other hand, you just want to stomp your dirty boots on the floor as hard as you can. The brakes are rarely really put on, but when they are, they are really put on, with relentless brutal mosh parts that underpin the bands’ HC influence and are guaranteed to cause a bruise or two at live shows.
This combination of raging Thrash Metal, crushing rollers and vicious downtempo on Kill Grid works out especially due to the tight drumming. In addition to the massive bass drum, the striking cymbal play stands out, which often sounds as if you’re wildly hammering on an anvil and makes the slower passages groove so metallically that it immediately sticks in your head and is one of the elements that prove to be extremely concise on the first run.

Even if I am missing a real earworm on Kill Grid, as you got it before for example with Brahman’, the album as a whole impresses a lot more than its predecessor At The Walls. From track to track, everything meshes absolutly perfect and captivates over the full length with its brutal and filthy sound. Clear hint to familiarize yourself with the record is for me personally without a doubt the title track ‘Kill Grid’, which is not only the hardest stomper of the album, it also has the best riffing, stands out a little from the other titles therefore and violently strikes from front to back with it’s bludgeoning instrumentals.

On March 12, Kill Grid was released via Century Media Records in various vinyl editions and as a CD version and we can only congratulate both parties on this release and partnership. Tapes, however, have not yet been announced and it remains to be seen whether fans of audio cassettes will also be able to enjoy the album. It would be desirable, because with its motorcycle sound the record would be perfect for the tape deck in the car, which one or another listener certainly still uses.

I had really high expectations for Kill Grid, especially because of the fact that it’s released by such a high quality label like Century Media, but Enforced fulfills them all and has already pushed all doubts aside after one run-through for me personally. The long player is clearly catchier than the debut album, churns up tons of dirt and lets the listener swallow the dust he deserves. Even if no real innovation is offered, the band delivers crossover as if you could not wish for any better and has rightly earned the status to be mentioned in the same breath with bands such as Power Trip, High Command or Iron Age in the near future. Kill Grid is a merciless crusade, whose brutality and sound you want to indulge in again and again and from which you just can not get enough!

Favourite Tracks:
“Kill Grid”
“Blood Ribbon”


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