Back at the start of the new century, a group of young Swedes would come together and form a speed metal-based project by the name of Enforcer. Once 2008 hit, they would drop their debut album titled Into The Night. They’re quite reminiscent of the NWOBHM sound, but concentrating heavily on being fast-paced. There isn’t quite enough attitude, distortion, or harsher kick to qualify it as a thrash metal album, but this works better without it. Thanks to the lack of noise, everything is very abridged and shimmers very bright. The crystal clean vocals, the thunderous bass lines, the glorified guitar riffs, and the thumping drum kicks all share an equal amount of glory.
Actually, the bass is one of the greatest standout features here. Seldom in this style of metal does it take much of the forefront, but that’s anything but true for Into The Night. There are bass rhythms that take as much complexity as the guitar rhythms, as well as keeping up with it very well. The only time it really jumps to the back seat is when the guitarist starts to shred away. Speaking of which, he does a superb job at that. One of the greatest skills a guitarist can possess is playing at intense speeds but still carrying a lot of melody, rather coming off with a slew of notes splattered everywhere. This is something that thrash can be guilty of, but pure speed metal usually avoids. Either way, the teamwork between these two are the bread and butter of this disc, and I couldn’t ask for any more.
Don’t let the ferocious speed give you the mindset that this is one sided, because it’s not. In fact, slower tempos are not only the main feature of some tracks, such as “On The Loose.” They are also cued into the super accelerated songs, such as on “Mistress From Hell.” Nowhere will they allow this to get boring. Intricate chord progressions and moody instrumentation will keep you on your toes for the duration of the listen. On top of that, you also get an interesting vocal approach. To be honest, it’s a bit feminine, and the first time I ever heard this I had to check and see if their vocalist was female. Not the case, nor does it matter, because either way, it fits the music. Sudden shrieks are thrown in from time to time, much like the way Annihilator’s Randy Rampage (RIP) did on “Allison Hell.” Man, what a blend!
Strong track craftsmanship, equal distribution of instrumentation, clean production, and solid delivery are what make this the gold that it is. Enforcer have put out a few other releases since this, but there isn’t a better one to start with. Anyone who digs bands along the lines of Angel Witch, Metal Church, Judas Priest, and Exciter should seek this out immediately. Since they’re a little more known than a lot of newer aged bands of this type, it should be easy to seek out.
Into The Night was released on November 18, 2008 on Heavy Artillery Records, and can be bought on their Bandcamp page, as well as Amazon, eBay, and Discogs.