Review by UnhinderedbyTalent for Enforced - Kill Grid (2021)
Enforced must be the most unconsciously listened to band in my house for the past 6-12 months. As I approached Kill Grid, I recalled the many playlists I had heard around the internet with these guys on there, thrashing and bashing their way into oblivion like we are already in the throes of Armageddon.
Anyone who reads what I review or talk about in the world of thrash nowadays will listen to Kill Grid and instantly understand why this is right up my alley. Super-aggressive thrash metal done with an almost death metal attitude (without straying over into the territory sound wise) and a real talent for dropping those Power Trip-like chops in there to bring a real feast of crossover riffs in from out of nowhere.
This is just the same vibe and energy that captured my attention back in the day with the likes of Exodus, Slayer and Metallica. Crossover influences aside, Enforced have just as much fun in the relentless delivery of their thrash metal. It is like listening to classic era Slayer repeatedly at some points and is an album that leaves me with a fucking huge, smug grin on my face as I listen.
Relying less on blackened influences unlike some of their contemporaries, Enforced seem to have captured the real essence of thrash metal over the nine tracks on offer here. Wagstaff and Monahan are a pair of beasts on guitar and more than prove their thrash credentials with their chopping riffs and sonic wizardry. Knox Colby has a gruff vocal style that does not rely at any point on high-end screeching. The vocals are reminiscent of Max-era Sepultura and in fact the whole band can generate that level of power that I would associate with that era of one of thrash’s most influential acts. Bishop’s drumming is solid, and the motoring bass of Ethan Gensurowsky is audible throughout making most tracks feel tight and complete.
This is a thrash album I want to revisit as soon as it has finished because it heightens my mood superbly. There are bits of old-school thrash worship in here that can become exhausting perhaps for some, but I do not mind them at all. As a result of them I have so many reminders of albums and tracks by some of my favourite artists it is hard not to be impressed by the authenticity of Enforced.
*I will note for anyone planning to check out this album that something goes wrong around a minute and thirty seconds into the first track where the whole track just becomes muffled. This is the digital version I am listening to, so quality is by no means assured but this really throws me off course for a good few seconds before the sound somehow corrects itself.