Album Review: Enforced - War Remains
Reviewed by Matthew Williams
Now THIS is THRASH!
From the moment I listened to the ferocity of the opening track I was blown away. As frontman Knox Colby puts it, “It’s an aggressive, no-frills thrash record” and it provides exactly that, over and over again. The production is straight forward, no bells and whistles, but my word, does this deliver on so many levels, your ears will be ringing for days, as this record packs a powerful punch.
Enforced are a quintet from Richmond, Virginia, who are looking to build upon the success of the previous releases, with this third album, 'War Remains' and armed with 32 minutes of new classic thrash and crossover hardcore songs, they will no doubt be back to terrorise crowds across the globe, having previously shared a stage with the likes of Obituary and Municipal Waste, as well as playing festivals like Hellfest and Marlyand Dethfest.
From the power and aggression of opening track, 'Aggressive Menace' you then get more of the modern crossover vibe with 'The Quickening' with a superb guitar sound from both Will Wagstaff and Zach Monahan, its poetry in motion with these two. They have brought the tenacity of their live shows to life on this recording, and it only gets better from here.
'Hanged by My Hand' is frantic thrash at its best and really demonstrates what Enforced are all about, as it’s a ball of fire and fury, being unleashed and with 'Avarice' there’s simply no let-up, with drummer Alex Bishop absolutely pummelling the skins, and the double bass is killer. And yet somehow, halfway through this song, they get even faster and more ferocious, it's insanely brilliant.
The title track begins with a guttural raw from Colby, before he starts to scream about the difference between war and peace and how they’re ultimately the same thing. It’s a brutally honest song, extremely dark but relatable as well, and it leads into something more personal for the frontman, as he deals with the death of his cousin in 2021, with the song 'Mercy Killing Fields'.
'Nation of Fear' is definitely going to be THE song that gets the crowd moving, as it typifies the modern thrash crossover sound, delivering a ridiculously superb rhythm section, kudos to bass player Ethan Gensurowsky, with a huge guitar sound.
The final three song onslaught begins with “Ultra Violence” and the pace is still relentless and brutal, showing that by playing together more over time, they’ve developed the ability to go faster and more aggressive. 'Starve' and 'Empire' finish off the album, and the latter, begins with a slowed down feel to it before someone remembers and the music kicks back to its usual frenetic pace.
There simply is no let up on this album, as it’s fast, loud, aggressive and definitely one to turn up really loud and annoy your neighbours with.