Enemy Is Us

Sporting ex-Darkane vocalist Lawrence Mackrory (from the excellent Rusted Angel album) on bass and backing vocals, I had high expectations from Enemy Is Us and their second full length Venomized, despite the not so great band name. What I got was a heaping dose of unmemorable mediocrity.

Venomized is a lesson in Swedish repetitiveness. Don’t get me wrong, a large chunk of my favorites hail from Sweden and many great bands have come from there, but there’s no denying the Swedes have a knack for burning out a sound/style. What we get here is a death/thrash album along the lines of Carnal Forge (especially their most recent output) and The Haunted’s early works but with less fury, less hook, and less desire to spin it again once it’s finished.

Things start well enough with “Through Vile Black Blood” and “My Cross to Bear”, immediately showing great similarities to the two aforementioned bands, but then takes a turn for the worse with “Show Me Them Horns”, a generic metalcore-ish sounding track. It’s after this that little bits of ‘core start to pop up here and there, namely in a chorus or a breakdown. “We Are the Filth” sounds like a near carbon copy of The Haunted’s 1998 album closing track “Forensick” with the quiet, spoken word/almost whispered vocals over clean picked guitar. “Heading Towards the Light” may be the albums best cut with it’s piano intro/outro, and a pretty good thrashy melodic riff that made me pay a bit more attention.

Venomized isn’t really a bad album, but it’s certainly not a good one either – it’s merely listenable, even if a bit boring. It could be summed up by calling it bastardized/Americanized Swedish death/thrash, but that may be a little harsh. Maybe next time around they could throw in a touch of their own rather than playing the mimicking game and we could have a slightly better album, or at least worthy of more than 3 spins.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
August 4th, 2008


  1. Commented by: ceno

    I think I liked this album a bit more than the reviewer. I could bear to listen to it like three or four times. lol I may even get back to it once again till the year end to see whether I haven’t lost my interest.

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