Enforcer – Death by Fire

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Review by Julian Handley

Nuclear Blast Records

Enforcer are the self-indulgent bastard offspring of a movement conceived in the UK in the late Seventies/early Eighties. They are master purveyors of the glorious phenomenon tagged with the catchy title of NWOBHM. These Swedish upstarts emerged some while ago, to a tepid media response with the debut Into the Night’, up next came Diamonds, which raised many an eyebrow, demonstrating a steady progression. So it is with the third release Death by Fire, that should see Enforcer rise like a mighty metal phoenix, or potentially crumble like insignificant ash. Without question Death by Fire is a make or break album, of which the band are justifiably conscious of the fact. It is obvious from the first listen that these guys mean business.

In classic metal style you are lulled in by the relaxed piano chords of ‘Bells of Hades’, which opens the way for the barraging metal onslaught to commence. ‘Death Rides this Night’, comes snarling at you like a rabid dog, demanding attention. High pitch wails and screams in all the right places, unashamed tribute to Enforcers influences ala early Maiden, Tygers and a twist of Canada’s criminally underrated Exciter. The album is able to carry two instrumentals, which allow the band to demonstrate the depths of their musical talent, of which they have in abundance. The intensity of this album is dictated by the power house drumming of Jonas Wikstrand who has a style reminiscent of  ‘Philthy’ Phil Taylor (Motorhead circa 1981), and the speeding riff meister of Joe Tholl burning up the fret neck of his guitar in flaming metal celebration.

A glorious effort to present to the metal masses, paying homage to past traditions, with a contemporary spin. Elevation to a higher level is imminent and deserving of such a fine effort. Here’s hoping to catch Enforcer on a UK stage in the near future, as the material they have on this album would certainly rip up the live circuit.

Enforcer - Death by Fire9 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Bells Of Hades
  2. Death Rides This Night
  3. Mesmerized By Fire
  4. Take Me Out Of This Nightmare
  5. Crystal Suite
  6. Sacrificed
  7. Silent Hour / The Conjugation
  8. Satan