Enforcer | ‘Diamonds’
There’s a wealth of absolutely amazing heavy metal coming out of Sweden at the minute. Fans of the Heavy genre have been fairly inundated with a steady stream of frankly essential albums from bands such as Ram, In Solitude, Portrait et al.
Right at the forefront of this new wave are speed freaks Enforcer, riding high on the rocketing success of debut album ‘Into The Night’, and following it up nice and briskly with their new LP ‘Diamonds’.
‘Diamonds’ starts off with a short slow intro, twin guitar lead in and an absolute explosion into the storming opener ‘Midnight Vice’, which is an instant incitement to headbang along – seriously, no other album I’ve heard in quite a while has got my head banging away so immediately.
It’s literally about 15 – 20 seconds into the album, including the slow intro, which bodes damn well for the rest of the album.
Which, happily, doesn’t fail to disappoint. Each song exudes individuality and it’s clear the guys have songs ideas coming out their ears; there’s just so much to take in on first listen, and on repeated spins of the record (which incidentally comes in a variety of colours, most notably clear –sorry- Diamond vinyl. Love it!), little nuances such a perfectly placed Tobias Lindkvist bass line, or a rhythmically satisfying Olof Wikstrand vocal part just leap out.
Where Enforcer’s strengths really lie on this album is in the brilliance of their choruses – it’s no stretch of the imagination to see any of these tracks as a single, ‘Katana’ and ‘Walk With Me’ in particular.
As with their previous album, there’s a huge amount of energy present in every song, the band play fast and frenetic with the end result being an album full of stunningly great metal anthems. To their credit, they’ve made the album less Speedy/Thrashy than before, and significantly more Heavy, and thus sounding a lot more mature.
Packaging wise, the cover is delightfully cheesy, and the interior is awesomely 80s due to the band’s outfits, however where they’ve excelled is in the lyric insert. There are only two colours present here; red and orange, and they repeat these throughout, including on the pre-order vinyl edition with its half red / half orange wax.
It looks cool, but it’s the care taken in the layout of the insert that rocks. Each song on the album is paired with another that shares its lyrical theme. Thus, ‘Katana’ and ‘Running In Madness’ are paired due to their Japanese subject matter, and their respective lyrics are coloured by artwork of the Japanese rising sun. ‘Live For The Night’ and ‘Nightmares’ have a scary bat, etc. It’s a fun attention to detail that the downloaders will simply miss out on.
In short, this is a much better album than their already brilliant debut, and it has a significant replay value. The only duff track (and the single reason this isn’t getting a 5/5 score) is the title track, which is a meandering instrumental with a little vocal wailing from a guest singer. Albeit, it pairs with ‘High Roller’ to give a casino atmosphere, but it seems out of place on an album full of rockers.
All the same, buy this album, and go see them live at all costs; they’re such a force to be reckoned with and can easily out-pace Airbourne in the energy stakes. But if the lead singer offers you a cucumber sandwich, politely decline.
4.9 / 5 – Dónal McBrien ::: 08/07/10