Enforcer – From Beyond (2015)

Enforcer - From Beyond (2015)
Enforcer has colonized 1983 and created an album that synthesizes much of that era’s above-ground metal, along with some careful additions from early speed/power metal into a coherent and musically proficient, if not particularly inventive whole. When you take into mind that there was just as much disposable crap being released then as now (at least by ratios), this probably pulls ahead of much of its inspirations for taking advantage of the historical perspective granted by 30 years of hindsight. Whether or not that’s enough to make it worthwhile is one of the questions I had on my mind as I evaluated From Beyond.

In general, my reason for judging Enforcer’s work by this criterion is that many of the bands in their lineage had some affinity for extending and elaborating on their songwriting. Iron Maiden is an obvious choice, with their occasional ’80s diversions into progressive rock inspired content. Enforcer, however, also heeds the call of their more commercial ancestors, showcasing slightly glam-tinged vocals and the occasional straight up rock riff or progression. It seems that the various tracks on From Beyond are separated by substyle – compare fast but simplistic tracks like the album lead-in (“Destroyer”) to the longer and more elaborate ones that end LP sides (“Below the Slumber”, “Mask of Red Death”); this variety between tracks may very well be inspired by a variety of influences, but even Enforcer’s antecedents managed to incorporate many disparate musical ideas into their own works. Enforcer manages to retain some stylistic consistency while doing so, but that’s such a basic requirement that this review would be far more negative if the band failed to do so.

But I digress – From Beyond is ahead of most of the traditional/speed metal revivalists, and at the very least it succeeds as a modernization and synthesis of the various movements in early 1980s metal, without falling too deep into the trap of pandering to its audience. I feel it would be better still if it further built off its style to create more elaborate and varied works still, but based on what they’ve done already I’d put Enforcer on my list of “bands likely to improve over time”. Furthermore, I’d recommend this album on its own strengths – its virile and musically talented performance, its strong production, and overtures towards expanding on the stereotypical ’80s metal sounds, although I don’t know how long it’ll stay fresh compared to the brightest lights of the past.



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3 thoughts on “Enforcer – From Beyond (2015)”

  1. Cock in all My Buttholes says:

    This is the best heavy metal band of recent times plain and simple.

    Great find Gabe. Their second album is their best.

  2. Carg says:

    This is rock’n’roll, as far as I can hear, and not in the good Maiden/Priest way. “Glam” is a good term to use. Surface effects can only take one so far: spirit shines through in the end. This is yet more music for sex and drugs, not real fucking metal. Come on, guys, Slayer showed why this kind of stuff wasn’t worth it as far back as ’85.

    The thing is, it’s not fucking difficult to impress me with “new old school” stuff, and yet there’s a mountain of crap like this and very few bands with real balls. My criteria are actually pretty simple, but the list doesn’t include technical proficiency, compositional ability, or thinly veiled references. All I’m looking for is power and substance. Enforcer, based on this album, lacks the former, though the guitarists clearly have some of the latter.

    Fuck, man, go and listen to Hell Awaits then listen to this again.

    1. Carg says:

      I’ll amend this to say that “Destroyer”, at the very least, is a pretty good track. Reminds me of Battalions of Fear.

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