CONCERT REVIEW: Destruction – Whiplash – Enforcer – Crisix Live at KK’s Steel Mill


There’s an A4 sized piece of paper gaffer taped to the wall inside KK’s Steel Mill tonight.



A sign that, to everyday folk, might seem a little worrying but to everyone congregated here on this cold October evening, it’s positively reassuring. The world might be in a horrible state currently but at least some things can be relied upon. The mood in the venue is positive, the drinks are flowing and even the merchandise stand is selling their wares at affordable prices. It’s going to be a good night.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Enforcer – Nostalgia


Enforcer has had some solid success in their career with their easily accessible traditional Heavy Metal style. With some many bands going back to more old-school stylings it’s easy for bands to get lost in the shuffle. Enforcer has been able to stand out ahead of the pack with consistent material and commitment to their style. While the band has constantly gone on record to state that they aren’t merely an old-school retro act, their latest album, entitled Nostalgia (Nuclear Blast) seems to beg to differ. 

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REVIEWS ROUNDUP: Haunt, Witchseeker, and Significant Point

HauntBeautiful Distraction

Having released six full-lengths and other assorted releases in just five years, it’s only inevitable for Haunt’s output to start getting samey. Their first (and probably not last) album in 2021, Beautiful Distraction carries on the polished, synth-laden variant of Heavy Metal last seen on 2020’s Mind Freeze and Flashback. Fortunately, the formula is still enjoyable with tracks like ‘In Our Dreams’ and ‘Face Of Danger’ offering uplifting hooks while ‘Imaginary Borders’ hits. It’s rather strange to see new versions of ‘Hearts On Fire’ and ‘It’s In My Hands’ considering their appearances on prior albums, but their later placements in the track order ultimately amount to inoffensive inclusions. As interchangeable as these albums have become lately, fans will still find their favorite pleasantries on full display.

7 / 10

Witchseeker Scene Of The Wild

Like 2017’s When The Clock Strikes before it, the second album from Singapore’s Witchseeker offers high octane Speed Metal with a certain Hard Rock sensibility. That latter element is especially pronounced on Scene Of The Wild (Dying Victims Productions) as songs like ‘Rock This Night Away,’ ‘Sin City’ (Not an AC/DC cover), and ‘Tokyo Nights’ among others are packed with catchy singalongs and frolicking beats. Fortunately, there’s still enough rawness to go around with the tempos often opting for total intensity, the vocals having an endearingly untrained quality and a filthy as hell bass tone. It may not be a serious gamechanger but another fun listen for fans of Enforcer and White Wizzard.

 8 / 10

Significant PointInto The Storm

Significant Point’s debut album follows in the footsteps of their countrymen in groups like Loudness and Anthem, but their approach to Speed Metal ends up feeling more German than Japanese. Songs like the opening ‘Attacker’ and ‘Riders Under The Sun’ show strong influence from Running Wild and Walls Of Jericho-era Helloween with their blazing guitar runs, flamboyant harmonies, relentless drumming, and unhinged yet melodic wails.

There’s also room for more Classic Metal leaning fun with ‘You’ve Got The Power’ and ‘Night Of The Axe’ offering some in your face optimism. The more epic touches on ‘Running Alone’ also make for another highlight of a closer. Into The Storm (Dying Victims Productions) may be rather rough and tumble for some fans, especially when it comes to the vocals, but comes strongly recommended to those who like their Power Metal with extra grit.

 8 / 10


CONCERT REVIEW: Municipal Waste – Toxic Holocaust – Enforcer – Skeletal Remains: Live at Club Academy

I think it’s fair to say that there is nothing unexciting about the prospect of seeing Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust perform under the roof of a sweaty club on a Friday night. Through their consistently solid releases and even better live reputation, these highly regarded acts in equal parts reignited interest in the possibilities of what modern thrash metal could truly offer. With Municipal Waste’s image and sound playing heavily into nostalgia for 80’s crossover acts such as D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies, Ryan Waste and the boys reminded us, for better or for worse, just how blistering the genre could be during an era where metalcore dominated the loud rock mainstream when they dropped The Art of Partying back in 2007.Continue reading

Video: Dark Tranquillity Performs New Atoma Material On Their North American Tour


Dark Tranquillity kicked off their Atoma North American headlining tour on Friday night here in New York City to the delight of the sold out crowd at The Gramercy Theatre. Continue reading

Video: Flotsam And Jetsam Releases Awesome Lyric Video – Seventh Seal


Second Wave of American Thrash masters Flotsam And Jetsam have released a lyric video from their recent self-titled album, released in May from AFM Records.Continue reading

Fortarock: Part I Live at Nijmegen, NL

FortaRock 2015 A6 final 107x150mm_0

On a warm sunny day, with just enough breeze to make it a perfect festival day, we headed to Fortarock, a festival in Nijmegen that has gathered critical acclaim for good vibes and excellent acts. This years billing wasn’t as sweet as some they had before, which led to the organization lowering the entrance price, a credit to them. That didn’t mean it wasn’t worth the trip to the Netherland’s most eastern metal town.

Leprous, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Leprous, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

At midday the festival terrain is slowly getting busy as Leprous and Carach Angren take the two side stages. It was a coin toss which of the two to go see, as they started at the exact same time and both bands, while excellent in their own setting, aren’t really middle of the day outside in the bright sunshine bands. We opted to go see Leprous, who indeed suffer from less than optimal sound, and bright sunlight. Somehow for me they also suffered of a distinct lack of Ihsahn this day and just weren’t as excellent as I remembered them from Roadburn.

Opening on the main stage are Swedish heavy metal band Enforcer. These guys know how to start a party and the fact they’re the first band to play this stage doesn’t phase them at all. The showmanship is incredible, even if the sound is a bit bass and kick drum heavy even at the sound booth. They seem to know you rarely have optimal sound at an outdoor-fest and step it up a few in show, finally waking the milling crowd up.

Sylosis, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Sylosis, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Next we opt to go see Sylosis, a British modern trash outfit that turned out to be the surprise of the day. I’d not heard of them before or heard their music and the booklet description wasn’t something that tickled me, but opted to go see them over Converge. I’m glad I did, as they were excellent, with a progressive sense of timing and minor core influences, yet a straightforward honest brutality to it all that kept it well grounded.

Godsmack, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Godsmack, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Next on the mainstage are Godsmack, mostly known for their one hit ‘I Stand Alone’ used for the Scorpion king movie, their sound is pretty much a repeat of that one song, rehashed and reworked endlessly to the point of brittle weakness. A rather bored stage presence in the full sun doesn’t help the band and distinct feeling of has-been creeps up on me, even though musically they’re pretty solid.

Flotsam And Jetsam, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Flotsam And Jetsam, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Over on stage three, which seems to be my favorite this day, thrashers Flotsam And Jetsam are starting. The band so far have the best sound balance of the day and pull a pretty big crowd, as singer Eric AK’s almost flawless vocals fly over the solid and clear trash music. The show is slick and smooth, but not without heart. Like a well oiled machine the band effortlessly win over the crowd, aided by some clever banter between songs.

Papa Roach, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Papa Roach, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

After some initial confusion on the program, it appears a few weeks ago Papa Roach and Parkway Drive switched spots, but the booklets had already been printed. So instead we have Paparoach on the main stage. While they are clearly festival veterans and know exactly what they’re doing, this isn’t the best I’ve seen them. The show is captivating and every person in the crowd sings the hits along full swing. Sadly, their energetic and excellent front man Jacoby Shaddix couldn’t carry a stage this large today.

Crowd at Fortarock 2015,  by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Crowd at Fortarock 2015, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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Enforcer – From Beyond


Enforcer’s shtick was old before they had even recorded their first demo. But four albums into their career and they can pen a good ode to classic 80s metal. The Swedish four piece – Olof Wikstrand (Guitars & Vocals), Joseph Tholl (Guitars), Tobias Lindqvist (Bass), Jonas Wikstrand (Drums) –  probably know it’s not 1982 anymore (we hope…), but they don’t care.

It’s good, mindless fun, and that’s ok.

From the opening notes of ‘Destroyer’ you know what you’re going to get over the next 40-odd minutes; no pretence, no bullshit, just big riffs, melodic hooks, shout-along choruses and the urge to wear nothing but denim and leather. This is pure high octane 80’s metal from 2015.

You like galloping riffs? We got it. High-pitch wailing? You know it. Air-guitar inducing solos? Of course. Enforcer have done their research; Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Saxon, plus numerous lesser known ‘cult’ acts; all your favourite NWOBHM influences are present and accounted for. It’s a meticulous copy of all the best bits of heavy metal’s classic years combined with a good ear for hooks. You could make a game out of identifying which riffs they’ve stolen from which band/album.

From Beyond (Nuclear Blast) has a default tempo of fast. The likes of ‘One with Fire,’ ‘Hell Will Follow’ and the opener all scream speed metal. ‘The Banshee’s simple but addictive chorus and twin lead guitars has future crowd pleaser written all over it, while ‘Below The Slumber’ and album closer ‘Mask of Red Death’ are both six-minute mini-epics; starting slow and quiet before bringing a plenitude of riffs and noise.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with From Beyond; if you liked any of their previous efforts (or indeed any other super retro act) they’ll be plenty to enjoy here, and if you have a craving for authentic sounding metal from three decades ago you’ll be more than pleased. But anyone chasing anything more than nostalgia will find nothing particularly to enthuse about.



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Audio: Enforcer – Below The Slumber


Swedish metallers Enforcer is streaming “Below the Slumber,” off of their fourth album From Beyond, out April 7, 2015 via Nuclear Blast below. The video for “Destroyer” was shot in Arvika/Sweden and edited by Gustav Öhman Spjuth.

From Beyond Track Listing:
1. Destroyer
2. Undying Evil
3. From Beyond
4. One With Fire
5. Below The Slumber
6. Hungry They Will Come
7. The Banshee
8. Farewell
9. Hell Will Follow
10. Mask Of Red Death

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