Album: Kill Grid
Label: Century Media
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Country: United States
The band hail from Richmond, Virginia and formed back in 2016. Since that time, they have released two full-length albums, this being the second and following their 2019 full-length release At the Walls. The band is Ethan Gensurowsky (bass), Alex Bishop (drums), Will Wagstaff (guitars), Zach Monahan (guitars) and Knox Colby (vocals). The album was recorded by Ricky Olson and Bob Quirk and mixed and mastered by Arthur Rizk. The killer album artwork is courtesy of Joe Petagno.
The band play a raw and aggressive blend of death metal, crossover thrash and some elements of straight up hardcore punk. I was already a huge fan of the band after listening to their previous album when it first came out. I was immediately drawn to their insane riffing and raw aggression. As such I was nervous of whether or not this album would live up to the incredibly high bar set by its predecessor. Luckily for me (and therefore all of humanity) the album completely exceeded my expectations and was somehow a marked improvement. The band have managed to refine their sound and develop a bit of maturity between releases. That may have come from the confidence of releasing a debut that was so well received or it may have just come from time and hard work. Either way the band have learned from everything they have done up until this point, with everything culminating in this album.
If you haven’t hear the band the best way to describe it is if Sepultura era Max Cavalera created a band that fused furious, riff-laden crossover with his death metal work. As far as the level of sheer aggression and energy on this album goes bands such as Ringworm and All Out War come to mind. The pace almost never slows and only does so for heavy as hell death metal-tinged thrash parts. The guitar work on the album is stellar and relatively varied. We get everything from thrash shredding to dirty death metal riffs and some far more punk and hardcore influenced parts. The sheer quantity of riffs on the album alone is an impressive feat, as well as that, the overall heaviness of the release is truly amazing. On the thrash/death metal side of things, instrumentally you will hear influences here from bands such as Demolition Hammer, Slayer, Power Trip and as mentioned Sepultura. I would have to say that as far as the title of ‘most headbangable album of the year’ goes this is definitely a top contender, because this thing goes off and does not let up. I can only imagine how enjoyable the pit for the live shows Enforced will be performing in the future will be.
The vocals on the release seriously remind me in some ways of Sepultura era Max Cavalera, maybe with a bit more of a hardcore tinge to them. They are powerful and commanding and are about as aggressive as crossover vocals can be. They perfectly match the energy of the instrumentals on the album. The drum work on the release is equally as ferocious and pummels the listener from start to finish. At every turn it matches the guitar work in both speed and heaviness. The bass work on the album is definitely present but it sits somewhat within the mix and doesn’t shine through as much as I had hoped for an album with punk/hardcore influences.
On the whole, Kill Grid is one wild ride that I highly suggest all of you take as soon as possible. This is an album you do not want to miss, especially if you like your music fast, heavy and aggressive. Whether you are a death metal, thrash metal, punk or hardcore fan I guarantee that you’ll find something to love here. Here’s to Enforced, a band that seems to keep getting better and better with age. I look forward to what you have in store for us.
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