Enforcer
Diamonds

Last week I reviewed the latest from Icarus Witch, a traditionally-minded band from Pittsburgh who’s got the old-school heavy metal attitude down to a T.  This week, Teeth of the Divine welcomes back Sweden’s NWOTM leaders Enforcer to the reviews list (debut Into the Night got a review from us in 2008) with Diamonds.  So what do the two groups have in common?  Well, aside from their respective parts in the resurgence of true heavy metal, not a whole lot.  It’s worth mentioning, though, that Icarus Witch has the attitude down, but Enforcer delivers the whole package, and it comes soaring through time (via Heavy Artillery and/or Earache, depending on which side of the pond you’re from) straight from the ’80s, landing in your lap with a leathered-and-spiked thud.  The tunes on Diamonds are some of the most catchy and ass-whipping that these ears have heard all year.  If this piques your interest, read on.  If not, kindly move on to one of the other fine reviews Teeth has to offer you.

At times rockin’ and groovin’, at others speedin’ or thrashin’, the gems of Diamonds are sure to please your ears if you’re in for a bit of a throwback.  The thudding bass and groove of “Midnight Vice” kick off a varied, yet cohesive, listening experience.  The rapid yet structured pace of “Roll the Dice” gets things rolling (pun intended) with quickened fretwork and an attack on the drum kit.  “Katana,” the third and arguably most enduring track, magnetizes listeners with a galloping drive and incredibly catchy vocal lines.  Seriously, I challenge you to listen to “Katana” once or twice and keep the chorus from haunting your brain for the next couple of days.

“Running on Menace,” a Scorpions-esque rocker, has just the right blend of melody and grit to entice and keep the fist pumping (not in a Jersey Shore way, so don’t even think like that).  “High Roller” is next with its primitive, youthful energy, ass-kicking speed, and ball-crushing solos and shouts.  The (mostly) instrumental “Diamonds” follows suit, speeding and roaring away until about the mid-way point, when something like a dreamy lull of elevator muzak takes over.  Surprisingly, this break in the high intensity is welcome and fitting.

Another noteworthy tune — one of many, actually — falls next in the Diamonds lineup, and it’s “Live for the Night.”  With a frantic velocity similar to something from Kill ‘Em All, this semi-reckless track rips through the album at a short 2:36, leaving a lingering impression in that span of time, complete with super-fast thrash riffs and some impressive howls from Olof Wikstrand.  Anybody not interested in the lighter side of Enforcer may be charmed by this one.  The next, “Nightmares,” may appeal to fans of Judas Priest as, overall, it’s got a comparable electric vibe and tone, riding the line between full-out metal and hard rock.  “Walk With Me,” similarly, fits somewhat into the Priest mold.  And finally, closer “Take Me to Hell” wraps up in a particularly Di’Anno-era Maiden fashion, which is just fine by this reviewer.

Enforcer is no joke.  Having seen them in action — complete with denim-n-leather, spandex-n-spikes, and a wicked attitude — I can attest to this.  On the same token, though, they like to have fun, and that’s evident when listening to Diamonds.  Tracks like “Katana,” “Running on Menace,” “High Roller” and “Live for the Night” alone are worth the purchase price of this baby, so don’t do yourself a disservice by ignoring Enforcer.   There are plenty of good times to reminisce upon within.  Of course, if you’re not into ’80s-inspired flair — or if you hate having fun — you may not find much of interest in Diamonds, but if that’s the case, why are you even reading this review?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
May 24th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    I should have the vinyl in my hands later this week, can’t wait !


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    After one listen, I like the debut more, but I need to revisit it.


  3. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    picked up the vinyl over the weekend… first impressions are good, but time will tell how it stands up against the very strong debut.

    Oddly, Katana did not get stuck in my head….. but “Running with Menace” sure as shit did. I cannot get it out of my goddamn mind… that chorus is catchier than the clap !! “See you in Tokyo…. “


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