Enforcer are one of the bigger names in the NWOTHM (New wave of traditional heavy metal), and for pretty good reason. They don't ape the galloping riffage and harmonies from Iron Maiden, nor do they go for the melancholic sounds of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, instead opting to speed things up by channeling bands like Accept, Raven, Omen and the like. While the past two records were mainly speed-tinged heavy metal that provided some catchy tracks in between some mediocre songs, the band's third full-length (and Nuclear Blast debut) "Death by Fire," is all thriller and hardly any filler. Simply put, Enforcer has put it all together on this one and have taken their sound to another level.
The best aspect of Enforcer's music has always been the insane energy. These Swedes' music has an unbridled energy that just leaps out of the speakers and makes the listener want to headbang and air-guitar for days, and once the intro-instrumental clears and "Death Rides This Night" bursts through, the chaos begins. Olof's high-pitched screams and the concise, yet very fast music blend together to take the listener back to records like "Kill 'Em All" and "Ace of Spades," where not only was the music memorable and awesome, but it made the listener feel anxious with riffs that seem to get better as the songs move along. "Run For Your Life" and "Mesmerized By Fire" are a couple of heavy songs that cling to the same style as the band's previous material, but there's been improvements, whether it's the use of more melody in the main riffs, the stellar solos or the structures of the songs, the tracks on "Death by Fire" seem to resonate a little more with the listener than "Into the Night" or "Diamonds" were able to.
One of the most common complaints about Enforcer's music, is the lack of variety, but that is an issue no longer. In the midst of the blitzkrieg-like songs that speed ahead, there are amazing tracks like "Take Me Out of this Nightmare" and "Silent Hour/The Conjugation" which are far from derivative, thanks to the brilliant melodies, solos, clean guitar passages and ridiculously catchy chouruses that create these gems. Fans of the bands playing the vein of the old-school should be able to openly embrace "Death by Fire" as it's shown a band that's making waves with their brand of heavy metal, rather than re-hashing the same generic garbage that's flooding the metal underground right now.
Highlights - "Death Rides This Night," "Take Me Out of the Nightmare" and "Silent Hour/The Conjugation."
Final Rating - 4.3/5 or 86%
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